Khashoggi's fiancee wants Turkey to 'insist' on justice as it reconciles with Saudi Arabia

Turkey must not abandon to search for justice for a slain Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi even as it looks to rebuild ties to the kingdom, said his fiancee Hatice Cengiz in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Sunday.

"I think Turkey must somehow continue its insistence (for justice) even if it improves its relations, said Cengiz after another court hearing for the case in Istanbul this week. ""I don't think it's in anyone's best interest to shut it down completely." 

Khashoggi, once a palace insider in Riyadh before turning into a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Saudi officials offered many conflicted accounts and denials about the case, but Turkish intelligence began leaking recordings of Khashoggi’s murder to journalists and with Western partners like the U.S Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 

Khashoggi’s death ruptured already poor relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan railed against Riyadh to prove its innocence as his prosecutors laid out a case against those responsible for the assassination. A Turkish court returned its first indictment in March 2020 which named 20 Saudi defendants in the case, including a former adviser to the crown prince. 

However, Turkey has begun working on improving its relations with Saudi Arabia. Last May, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu traveled to Riyadh to speak with Saudi officials about the road to reconciliation. In January, Erdoğan suggested that he would be visiting the kingdom in February but the visit never took place for unclear reasons. 

Cengiz, who has made it a habit to rarely comment on most current events, said that she understood why Turkey would seek better relations with Saudi Arabia despite murder of her fiance, but she personally was saddened by it. 

"If we look at it from the viewpoint of realpolitik, (Turkey's position) did not let me down," Cengiz told AFP. "Emotionally speaking, of course, I am sad."


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