Turkey on Monday blasted "unacceptable" and "impertinent" comments by the French foreign minister who accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of playing a "political game" over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday said his French counterpart's accusations, that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was playing political games in the case of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, amounted to "impertinence."
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in an interview with France 2 channel on Monday, said that France was not in possession of recordings related to the Khashoggi's murder as far as he was aware.
Asked if the Turkish president was lying, he said, "It means that he has a political game to play in these circumstances."
President Erdogan had announced on Saturday that Turkey had shared recordings linked to the Saudi journalist's murder last month with Riyadh, as well as the United States, France, Britain and other allies, without giving details of the tapes' specific content.
Cavusoglu said that the evidence was given to the French authorities at their request.
Turkey's top diplomat accused Le Drian of "exceeding his authority" and added that his comments "do not fit the seriousness of a foreign minister."
"Our intelligence shared information with them on October 24, including the voice recordings," Cavusoglu said. "It is very imprudent for them to accuse our president of playing political games."
"What lies behind this (statement)? I wonder if they are trying to cover up this murder. We will be pursuing this," Cavusoglu added.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of the Saudi government, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents for his forthcoming marriage.
After repeated denials, Saudi Arabia finally admitted the 59-year-old had been murdered at the mission.
Le Drian in the hot seat
“French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s most recent comments on Turkey’s handling of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder does not reflect the facts," Turkish Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said in a statement.
"We find it unacceptable that he accused President Erdogan of ‘playing political games’. Let us not forget that this case would have been already covered up had it not been for Turkey’s determined efforts," Altun said.
"A representative of the French intelligence has listened to the audio recording and detailed information including a transcript of the said audio."
"If there is miscommunication between the French government’s various agencies, it is up to the French authorities – not Turkey – to take care of that problem," Altun added.
"Turkey is committed to shedding light on all aspects of the Khashoggi murder, including who ordered the hit, and we urge all members of the international community, including France, to take steps necessary to reach that goal,” he said.
As of Monday, Germany has confirmed it has received recordings on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadian intelligence has listened to the recordings.