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Turkey says can’t understand US silence over Khashoggi case

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish President and ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party chair Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses an AK party gathering at the Ankara Sports Hall in Ankara on January 31, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that the US’ silence toward the killing in Istanbul of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by its allies in Riyadh is not acceptable, and Ankara wants everything to be clarified about the case.

"I cannot understand America's silence... We want everything to be clarified because there is an atrocity, there is a murder," Erdogan told an interview with state-run TRT television. "The Khashoggi murder is not an ordinary one."

An investigative team led by the United Nations (UN) believes Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the prime suspect in the state-sponsored assassination of Khashoggi in Turkey back in October 2018, an adviser to Erdogan said Friday.

Yasin Aktay made the remark on Friday following a meeting with the UN investigative team that is probing the brutal murder of Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul last October.

The team, led by Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, arrived in Turkey on Monday to probe Khashoggi’s killing.

“The UN team considers the crown prince of Saudi Arabia the main person responsible for the killing of Khashoggi. The team held a number of meetings in Turkey, including with Khashoggi’s fiancé, and she (Callamard) also intends to listen to the audio recordings related to the crime,” Aktay told the Turkish NTV broadcaster.

Callamard has been barred from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where she had requested access to as part of the investigation.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and Saudi regime critic, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2.

He visited the consulate to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman.

Turkey says Khashoggi was killed by a team of 15 Saudis who strangled him at the kingdom's diplomatic mission.

Turkey, which said it was in possession of audio evidence of Khashoggi’s murder soon after he failed to exit the consulate, has indirectly suggested that Prince Mohammed ordered his killing. The Washington Post reported in November last year that the CIA had also concluded that Mohammed ordered his killing.

Ankara has demanded that Riyadh extradite the suspects in the case to stand trial in Turkey. Saudi Arabia has refused to do so.

Riyadh has not yet produced Khashoggi’s body, either.

Callamard’s findings and recommendations are expected to be reported to the UN Human Rights Council at a June 2019 session

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