Turkey's Erdogan says Khashoggi killing 'most influential event' since 9/11

Turkey's Erdogan says Khashoggi killing 'most influential event' since 9/11
Wednesday marks the first anniversary of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
2 min read
30 September, 2019
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took 'full responsibility' for the killing [Getty]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi the "most influential and controversial" event of the 21st century except 9/11.

"No other event since 9/11 has posed such a serious threat to the international order or challenged the conventions that the world has come to take for granted," the Turkish leader wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post on Sunday.

Erdogan's comments came just days ahead of the first anniversary of the killing.

Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi journalist critical of the kingdom's de-facto ruler and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered shortly after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.

"That, one year on, the international community still knows very little about what happened is a serious source of concern," the Turkish president wrote in the newspaper, for which Khashoggi was a contributing columnist.

"Whether all aspects of the Saudi journalist's death will ever come to light will determine what kind of world our children will live in."

Turkey, Erdogan said, has refused to allow the Khashoggi murder to be "portayed as a bilateral dispute between Turkey and Saudi Arabia".

Ankara has "always seen" and "continues to see" Riyadh as a "friend and ally," the president wrote.

"Our long-standing friendship, however, does not necessarily entail silence," Erdogan noted.

While the Saudi authorities have repeatedly described the killing as a "rogue operation", United Nations officials and the CIA have said the killing was likely ordered by bin Salman.

In his Washington Post op-ed on Sunday, the Turkish president said that the murder "served the interests of a shadow state within the kingdom's government", rather than the state itself.

The kingdom's crown prince on Sunday said he took "full responsibility" for the murder but denied ordering the killing.

"This was a heinous crime. But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government," he said in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes".

"When a crime is committed against a Saudi citizen by officials, working for the Saudi government, as a leader I must take responsibility. This was a mistake."

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