The world is wondering who ordered the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the top, said a spokesman of Turkey’s ruling party on Wednesday.
“This could not have been done without an order from the top. The world wants to know: Who gave the order from the top?” Omer Celik, ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesperson, told a press conference in the capital Ankara.
Celik also said Turkey “firmly condemns” the French foreign minister’s recent remarks critical of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s handling of the Khashoggi case.
On Saturday, Erdogan said Ankara had shared recordings related to the Khashoggi killing with Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K.
On Monday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed that — contrary to Erdogan — France doesn’t have the recordings, also claiming that Erdogan was playing “a political game” over the case.
Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
After weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of any plot to murder the journalist.
On the recent debate over a proposed European army, Celik said: “Three or five years ago this would have been unthinkable. It clearly shows an emerging crack in the transatlantic Alliance.”
U.S. President Donald Trump last week lashed out at French President Emanuel Macron’s proposal for a European army, calling it “insulting.”
Celik added that regardless of whether NATO or a European army is used, no security can be ensured in either the Balkans or Europe as a whole without Turkish involvement.