Turkey’s president says Saudi officials plotted for days to kill reporter Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic offices in Istanbul.
On Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Turkey’s parliament about the incident believed to have happened on October 2.
Erdogan refused to accept Saudi Arabia’s explanation that the Saudi journalist was accidentally killed. Erdogan also demanded that the Saudis tell him the names of every person involved.
Erdogan said he wants Saudi Arabia to send 18 suspects to Turkey for a trial. The Saudi government has arrested 18 men in connection to the killing and said it is carrying out an investigation.
Saudi Arabia has described the suspects as rogue operators. But reports have linked Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the killing.
“To blame such an incident on…security and intelligence members would not satisfy us or the international community,” Erdogan said in a speech to parliament.
The Turkish president said Saudi Arabia admitted to the killing. He said he expects the 18 will be brought to justice. He used the word “murder” 15 times in his speech to parliament.
The Associated Press reports that a U.S. official, who refused to be identified by name, said CIA director Gina Haspel is in Turkey to discuss the case.
U.S. President Donald Trump also has said he is not satisfied with the explanations from Saudi Arabia about the death. Khashoggi was a writer for the Washington Post newspaper and a critic of the Saudi government.
Erdogan did not blame Crown Prince Mohammed by name in his speech. However, he kept pressure on the Saudi government with his demands for the Saudi suspects.
Calling Khashoggi “the victim of a savage murder,” Erdogan said that ignoring the murder would “hurt the human conscience.”
Erdogan said 15 Saudi officials arrived in the country before Khashoggi’s death. He also said a man wore Khashoggi’s clothes and walked out of the diplomatic office, possibly as a decoy.
“We are seeking answers. Who did these people get their orders from to go (to Turkey)?” Erdogan asked.
International attention increased after Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that Khashoggi died in a fight. The case has shocked people around the world.
At a government meeting Tuesday, King Salman again said that Saudi Arabia would hold those responsible for Khashoggi’s death “accountable.” The state-run Saudi Press Agency reported his comments.
Saudi Arabia said it has arrested suspects and dismissed several important intelligence officials. Critics believe the arrests were a way to cover up the responsibility of Crown Prince Mohammed.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Tuesday the investigation into the killing of Khashoggi would produce the truth about what happened.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said, while visiting Indonesia, that rules will be put in place so that “something like this can never happen again.”
Khashoggi was at the Saudi diplomatic office to get documents linked to his planned marriage to Turkish citizen Hatice Cengiz.
I’m Susan Shand.
The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted this story for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.
Words in This Story
journalist – n. one who reports the news for print, TV, radio or the internet
rogue – adj. something or someone that is different from others in usually a dangerous or harmful way
savage – adj. very cruel or violent
conscience – n. the part of the mind that makes you aware of your actions as being either morally right or wrong
decoy – n. a person or thing that attracts people's attention so they will not notice someone or something else
accountable – adj. required to explain actions or decisions to someone