Don’t miss the bigger picture in the Khashoggi murder - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

Don’t miss the bigger picture in the Khashoggi murder

Many foreign journalists are contacting us because of the news, articles and comments published by Yeni Şafak daily and TVNET regarding the Jamal Khashoggi murder.

There’s one problem I’ve noticed in the tens of questions asked by reporters from China to the U.S. and from the U.K. to Qatar: drowning in the details.

Journalists fixate on how the murder was conducted, the methods and the figures involved because they are quite surprising. As a result, articles reflect the details and not the big picture.

Overwhelming questions arising from the details

How were the voice recordings made? From the watch or by using something else?

Was Jamal Khashoggi first killed then dismembered?

How was the body split into pieces? With a saw or a scalpel?

Did the murderers take the body with them?

Tens of questions like this are asked, and I believe the bigger picture is lost among these details.

This is a murder unlike any other in world history. A state killed a person, a journalist, in its own consulate. They do this using their own government officials. In other words, a state killed its own citizen in an official building supposed to serve its citizens.

This is an event that has no match in state history and makes the responsible country a “rogue state.”

This is the bigger picture.

Let’s not forget this. Jamal Khashoggi is a father, a partner and a human being. The human aspect must not be disregarded because he is a “dissident journalist.” In the human mind, the statements “a dissident was killed” and “a human being was killed” carry different meanings.

Apart from this, everything else in reports is just detail. In fact, some of it even falls into the tabloid category.

The part that warrants an outcry

What we should really be shocked about and what warrants an outcry is that a state killed a person in its own consulate.

This is what world states, the United Nations, and heads of states should be careful about: This murder has annihilated the perception of the state and security, the image of diplomatic missions, the state-citizen relationship and the mission of the state that is responsible for the security of life of its citizens.

If the state that was established and is run in order to capture murderers is committing murders itself, then there is great chaos.

This is a murder that causes all consulates and embassies to be considered as “places where murder can be conducted.” It inflicts more damage upon the trust people have for their state than on the body of Jamal Khashoggi.

From now on, nobody will enter a Saudi consulate to obtain a visa for umrah or hajj [Islamic pilgrimages to Mecca] or to receive news without fear. No place, institution, organization or official belonging to the Saudi state is safe anymore.

A blow to the citizen-state relations

If this murder is not elucidated, if the murderers aren’t discovered or punished, then people will think that other states can cover up the murders they commit and they will live in fear.

A murder that was committed individually cannot spread this degree of fear and be so devastating. Even the sentence saying, “A country killed a man at the consulate,” will lead the everyday man to feel great fear.

The U.S. is making an effort to draw attention away from the matter to preserve its trade relations with Saudi Arabia. But it should not forget that the results of this situation will leave a deep mark on people, including its own public.

An attack on a country considered to be a safe haven

This is why a great responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Turkey. Even if the U.S. tries to cover it up, Turkey will never do such a thing. Because our lands have been a safe haven for the innocent for centuries. The murder is also an attack on this haven.

The lives of those who seek refuge in our country are our responsibility. This country, this city are places where people live in safety. This murder will also harm this perception. This murder is also an attack on the part of us that protects the oppressed. And it is also a warning to all those who seek refuge in this country. We must reverse this.

Those who committed the murder should be given exemplary punishments

The way Khashoggi was murdered is, without a doubt, hair-raising and the sort that drives one mad. This unprecedented barbaric method necessitates every sort of news report and discourse. This is such a terrifying and barbaric murder that after all the details are disclosed, it will be discussed for hundreds of years to come: of this I am sure.

However, what is more important than all of this is the bigger picture. That picture depicts a trauma that disregards the human being in state-citizen relations and turns all our ideas upside-down.

If a person is being “dismembered” at a country’s consulate, that means there is no safe place for any of us in the entire world.

This is why such severe punishments should be handed down to those who committed and ordered the murder that no human being, no state official can ever entertain the thought of committing such murders again. This is necessary for the citizens of state administrators and for the occupation of us journalists. Otherwise, no one on this earth will be safe.


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