Erdogan Blames Saudi Government in Khashoggi Murder, Spares King

(Bloomberg) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the first time accused members of Saudi Arabia’s government of ordering the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi, in an opinion piece he authored for the Washington Post.

Key Insights

  • “We know that the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government,” Erdogan wrote.
  • Earlier during the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi insider-turned-critic Khashoggi, Erdogan appeared to be inching closer to blaming the kingdom’s influential Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. However, the piece in the Post was his first accusation that the order for the murder came from the administration.
  • Erdogan spared Saudi head of state in his criticism, saying “I do not believe for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques, ordered the hit on Khashoggi. Therefore, I have no reason to believe that his murder reflected Saudi Arabia’s official policy.”
  • Believing that Khashoggi murder was the work of a few Saudi security officials would be equivalent to seeing Watergate scandal as a mere “break-in.”

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