Khashoggi assassination: Saudi journalist’s fiancee calls on Turkey not to give in

For nearly three years, Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed and dismembered in Istanbul in October 2018, has clung to hope for justice and called on her country, Turkey, not to give up on the benefit of a rapprochement with Riad.

“Turkey must continue to insist that justice be done, even if relations improve” with Saudi Arabia, she said in an interview with AFP, conducted this week after yet another court hearing. of Istanbul in the absence of defendants.

The macabre end of the disgraced Saudi columnist, in October 2018 at the premises of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, had further deteriorated the already strained relations between the two Sunni regional powers. But for several months, in the grip of serious economic difficulties, Ankara has been seeking rapprochement and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced at the beginning of January an upcoming visit to Riad – the date of which remains to be fixed, however.

Turkey must not give up

“It’s not in anyone’s interest to break completely,” resolves Hatic Cengiz, returned to the constraints of realpolitik. “But for such a thing not to happen again, for this matter to reach the best possible moral and legal settlement, (Turkey) must not give up,” she insists.

Returning to live in Istanbul at the start of the pandemic, after a stay in Washington, the young woman was waiting for that fateful day Khashoggi in front of the Saudi consulate where he came to collect the necessary papers for their marriage. He never reappeared and his remains were never found.

A report by the American intelligence services accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, of having “validated” the assassination perpetrated by a commando sent specially to Turkey. Recep Erdogan then denounced an order “coming from the highest levels of the Saudi government”, without however naming MBS.

An Istanbul court has opened a trial in absentia against 26 Saudi nationals, including two close to the crown prince.

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