Justice revives - YASIN AKTAY

Justice revives

The Khashoggi murder was committed in Turkey, but it shortly became a global matter. The interest and questions that started with Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering Saudi Arabia’s Consulate General in Istanbul never to be seen again has been the world’s most important current affair for the last 22 days. The world, with great curiosity, is trying to follow all the details related to the incident in this period. The likelihood of a citizen being barbarically slaughtered in their consulate, whose reason for existence is to serve its citizens, is horrific and terrifying as well as being equally intriguing.

International relations, balances and legal dimensions associated with the incident naturally give rise to different plans in everybody’s approach to this case.

Each piece of information that surfaces further increases the interest and triggers new questions instead of answering the current ones. The way Turkey has been handling how it informs the public and includes them in the problem during this process has surely led to a very unique path.

The situation is sensitive. Turkey could not have remained indifferent to such an incident that took place within its borders, even though it is considered another country’s territory. It could not have accepted such a multidimensional crime on its own land for the sake of current good relations.

However, progress needed to be made from the very beginning without leaving anybody under suspicion. This is what the legal mind requires. Of course, there was no need to accuse anybody in advance, but there were mostly culprits who were revealed and there was no need to acquit them in advance either.

The characteristics and all connections of those who committed the murder have been revealed and shared with the public. As a result of the information shared, the case has been embraced by the international community in almost every aspect. It is impossible that anyone could miss the info shared.

Turkey is being followed by the international community with great appreciation and appraisal for its skill and style in handling the problem since the start. It's not only a murder after all. There is global-dimensioned international crisis, and Turkey's responsibility and skill in handling this crisis without damaging the sense of justice is mentioned in foreign media at every opportunity - but the steps it will take is anticipated with just as great curiosity and widely interpreted.

That is why President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's group assembly yesterday, where he announced he would make statements on this matter, was watched very carefully by the whole world. Every word that came out of the president's mouth, his tone, gestures and mimics were noted with great care. We can say that our president demonstrated all his skill again as a responsible statesman. After presenting all the results obtained in relation to the murder and the before and after of the incident, he made the most careful and striking call.

He first shared the information that certain consulate personnel came to Turkey’s Yalova and the Belgrad Forests in Istanbul a day before the murder and surveyed the area in relation to the process of the murder. This was something that was not known until now and it further strengthened the existing information that the murder was premeditated. They even tried to plan where Khashoggi, who they planned to kill, would be buried.

Second, the president very clearly criticized Saudi’s moves and statements that have been misleading the public until now, and voiced the questions that have risen based on the statements made at this stage: Did 15+3 people act on their own? Is it possible for them to carry out this action without receiving instructions from anyone? Why was so much effort put into destroying or hiding the body of Khashoggi, who is said to have been killed by accident? It is said his corpse was delivered to a local cooperator - who is this person? Why have they not been revealed?

Third, the president tried to serve justice by taking King Salman as the state's addressee, but he also warned that assigning the suspect, to whom all evidence points, to lead the investigation team that would be probing this incident will not give sound outcomes. Of course, nobody should be convicted in advance, but the president warned that the fact that Crown Prince Salman is the investigator of his staff-- who were involved in the incident and who are known to not take a single step outside of the prince’s knowledge-- will bring no justice, whether it be in terms of modern law or Sharia.

Essentially, requesting this justice and fulfilling what it requires is certainly in the interest of Saudi Arabia. Because justice is the foundation of the state.

In this incident, serving justice will become a topic directly associated with Saudi Arabia's problem of perpetuity. Regardless of their rank, it must get rid of the structures that got the state involved in these crimes. If Saudi Arabia does this, it will certainly emerge from the situation grow stronger in the long term, even though it may suffer some blows.

In fact, it should be evaluated as an opportunity if Erdoğan’s call that the 15 individuals--- who were arrested as a concrete step after the president spoke with King Salman—should be tried in Turkey is accepted. King Salman must not hesitate from taking this step.

This is Turkey's right, as the crime was committed within Turkish borders, and Turkey is not an enemy of Saudi Arabia but rather its friend.

Even if it is against us and our loved ones, not avoiding serving justice is the most important principle taught to us by our holy book. Justice revives. We should not hold off on answering a call that will revive us.

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