Khashoggi dying in a 'fistfight' - YASIN AKTAY

Khashoggi dying in a 'fistfight'

Just as we were saying, the circle is getting tighter for Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murderers: 18 days after the incident, Saudi Arabian authorities confessed that Khashoggi was killed by accident during a fistfight at the consulate. The confession coming at this stage, of course, states the obvious. Everybody already knew that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate building.

The most important aspect not yet explained by this statement, which says nothing new and unknown regarding the incident, is what has been done with Khashoggi's body. Since the confession stating that he was killed - even if by accident - came, it will soon be possible to reach this information too. Thus, it is only a matter of time before the fate of the corpse becomes clear.

As for the fistfight statement, it explains no aspect of the incident, according to all the information reached - on the contrary, it leads to even more questions. Of course, one cannot help but wonder how there could have been a "fistfight" between 15 young expert fighters, who are all bodyguards, and a 60-year-old Khashoggi, alone and defenseless.

The more one thinks about it, the more it feels like our intelligence is being mocked. The only story to come out of this asymmetrical "fistfight" might be that one innocent person was lynched - surely not a story that it was a case of the self-defense of this group of 15 against Khashoggi.

Secondly, why did they wait so long? The lies that have been told in relation to Khashoggi to date are numerous enough to form a separate record of crimes. It was stated by top-level authorities that Khashoggi left shortly after completing his procedures at the consulate. It was said that his whereabouts was unknown.

It is because of these statements that Qatar, Iran and Turkey were held responsible for the incident. Unbelievable campaigns were carried out in Saudi Arabian media about Turan Kışlakçı, Hatice Cengiz and myself, almost going as far as saying that we made up the incident.

Cengiz's engagement status was questioned. We were accused of being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and of being against Saudi Arabia. Yet, we were simply after the truth and now, of course, we are seeking justice. Those who believe in justice also believe that whatever is ruled by the law is right. Pursuing this case, wanting the truth to come out as a result of this case does not necessitate being against anybody.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who gave an interview to Bloomberg TV four days after the incident, said Khashoggi personally left the consulate after completing his procedures and that he was in Turkey's area of responsibility, adding that Turkish authorities may go into the consulate building and carry out a search if they wanted. Of course, the necessary action in response to the challenge behind this invitation could only be taken nine days later.

Until then, we watched the cleaning equipment and crews blatantly go in and out of the consulate in front of our eyes. For some reason, the crown prince's criticism of Turkey following the challenge he made that day to defend himself went unnoticed by all. Salman, who obviously believes that the best defense is offence, chose to respond to the criticisms he received with respect to the arrests of dissidents, writers, academics, scholars and princes in his country by bringing up the arrests in Turkey and making a comparison between the two.

Salman defended that the 1,500 people arrested within this context in the last three years were detained on the grounds of national security, not to silence dissidents, and said, "This number is low when compared with the detentions in Turkey."

While he was making this statement, the team of 15 people tasked to savagely slaughter Khashoggi at the country's Istanbul consulate had already completed their task and returned home to their respective duties.

This audacious defense-offence argument against Turkey was, unfortunately, mentioned on numerous platforms where this case is being discussed. However, the questions asked in relation to this incident are yet to receive a proper answer. There is no sense in changing the topic. Yet, we make a point of noting the psychology revealed by the efforts made to change the topic.

The "fistfight" argument regarding Khashoggi's death is a scenario which was hastily made up as it became clear that all the details of the incident will soon come out.

Consciences already decided whether the argument is convincing or not. This was followed by different scenarios, one after the other.

All will be transparently revealed. In the meantime, defensive statements that test the public mind and conscience will also continue to follow, one after the other.

Turkey is working to reveal the incident without politicizing it, without convicting anybody with prejudice, without giving chances to whitewash the truth and, of course, to continue to serve justice after it. Its attitude and the path it has taken with respect to handling the process is being followed worldwide with appreciation and admiration.


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