Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate on October 2 last year.

In this December 15, 2014 file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain.
In this December 15, 2014 file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain. (AP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will continue its efforts to shed light on the Khashoggi murder in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and Riyadh critic, was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country's consulate in Istanbul on October 2 last year to collect some marriage-related documents.

But, as the Turkish president writes, his country's intelligence and law enforcement agencies, along with diplomats and prosecutors, cooperated closely with their counterparts to shed light on any information coming out of the October 2 killing. 

Riyadh offered various, conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building while seeking to shift blame for his death on a botched rendition operation being carried out by rogue agents.

Khashoggi's body has not been recovered, and the Kingdom has remained silent on its whereabouts.

The international community knows very little information about the slain journalists's murder as the one anniversary fast approaches. 

The Turkish President also made clear that the country's efforts were not an attack on Saudi Arabia or the Saudi government but rather the perpetrators of the murder. 

"Turkey’s response to The Post contributing columnist’s killing is based on our desire to uphold the rules-based international system. Hence our refusal to let the Khashoggi murder be portrayed as a bilateral dispute between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Turkey has always seen, and continues to see, the kingdom as its friend and ally. My administration, therefore, made a clear and unmistakable distinction between the thugs who murdered Khashoggi and King Salman and his loyal subjects.

Our long-standing friendship, however, does not necessarily entail silence. Quite the contrary, as the Turkish proverb goes, “A real friend speaks bitter truths."   

"The 15-member assassination squad that murdered Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul and chopped his body into pieces served the interests of a shadow state within the kingdom’s government — not the Saudi state or people. Had we believed otherwise, this atrocity would have indeed been treated like a bilateral problem," the Turkish president added.

Erdogan maintains that "national and international courts alone can deliver justice." 

He added, "We have requested that Saudi Arabia extradite Khashoggi’s murderers to Turkey, where they committed the crime."

Saudi Arabia has charged 11 people in the slaying and put them on trial, which has been held in secret. As of yet, no convictions have been announced.

A UN report asserted that Saudi Arabia bore responsibility for the killing and said Prince Mohammed's possible role in it should be investigated.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a television interview that he takes "full responsibility" for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that happened under his watch but denied allegations that he ordered it.

"Going forward, Turkey pledges to continue its efforts to shed light on the Khashoggi murder. We will keep asking the same questions that I raised in an op-ed for this newspaper last year: Where are Khashoggi’s remains? Who signed the Saudi journalist’s death warrant? Who dispatched the 15 killers, including a forensic expert, aboard the two planes to Istanbul?

It is in our best interest, and in the best interest of humanity, to ensure that such a crime is not committed anywhere again. Combating impunity is the easiest way to accomplish that goal. We owe it to Jamal’s family," the Turkish President wrote in conclusion of his article. 

Source: TRT World