by Fatih Öke
The world, especially the Turkish Arab Media Association, where I serve as the Director, have been watching an incident closely for days: Khashoggi’s murder. While we feel like we are reaching the end of this case in these days, horrific new details keep emerging and add a new layer to this already terrible story.
We have set our eyes on this incident, which is considered by the general public as a disgrace to the Saudis themselves. Two planes departing from Saudi Arabia, a 15-person team, purchased suitcases, vehicles entering in and out, a fiancé waiting at the door, a person looking for his friend’s right, and an association making the world hear about the case.
Here is the only question in everybody’s mind: how those 15 persons could even dare to commit such a gruesome murder?
In fact, we have learned the unfolding details of this bloody operation immediately as a result of Turkey’s excellent public diplomacy conducted during the investigation. A Saudi team had made a perfect plan, and that plan failed due to a couple of unexpected elements, like a live witness waiting outside the consulate.
Have you ever thought what would have happened if someone wasn’t waiting for Khashoggi?
Let’s reconsider the incident in this way…
It is October 2, Tuesday, 13:15, Khashoggi enters the consulate alone. Once he is inside the consulate, he is immediately killed. His assailants unlock his cell phones by using Khashoggi’s fingerprint.
After the murder, a man wearing Khashoggi’s clothes and with a face unnoticed, walks out of the consulate via its front exit. Then he goes to Istanbul’s famous Sultan Ahmed Mosque, while talking with an accomplice. He goes into a public toilet, changes back out of the clothes, leaves, and simply vanishes.
The pieces of real Jamal Khashoggi, which are put in a vacuum and are placed in rice grains to evade detection by the X-ray machines, like the smugglers do, are taken to an unknown place by two planes.
His fiancé Hatice Cengiz calls Jamal several times during the day. When she receives “I’m very busy” text messages, she calls again the day after. Then Cengiz receives WhatsApp messages from Khashoggi saying “I am confused, please leave me alone some time. I’m going to the US, will call you later” and she agrees to do so. After 10 days, if she still hasn’t suspected a single thing, she starts receiving calls from the US asking where Khashoggi is and then she goes to the police…
The police has the surveillance camera records in which a man dressed up in Khashoggi’s clothes and fitting his description is leaving by the consulate’s front door. They hand in a picture from this camera footage to his fiancé. Thus, in this way, Khashoggi’s exiting the consulate premises, whose wrong shoes are unnoticed, is proven.
If luck is still on these bloody murderers’ side, another 10 days pass by, and finally the Washington Post announces to the world that they cannot reach their columnist and that probably he has disappeared in Istanbul.
Then, according to the standard process, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs hands over a note to the Turkish Ambassador in Riyadh in the presence of the local press. The Turkish Government conducts a detailed examination and they explain about their suspicions that perhaps Khashoggi, who entered and left the consulate, may not be the same person.
Meanwhile, a social media army conducted by M.B.S.’s number one aide Saud al-Qahtani wages a campaign claiming that Turkey is a bloody murderer, and Istanbul is no longer a safe city by referring to the past incidents that were blamed on Turkey unjustly.
Reporters Without Borders and other freedom of opinion associations begin demonstrations witnessed by thousands of tourists and covered by the international media outlets in front of the Blue Mosque, where Khashoggi was last seen alive.
Then events get out of hand. The Saudi and Emirates governments, followed by the Trump government, express their deep concern for press freedom in Turkey, which is a debated issue, and designate the country as a terrorist state.
Subsequently, the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation hold an emergency special session and call on Turkey to clarify the situation Khashoggi.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s security forces find certain evidence. However, the international community has already been been triggered. In such a case, the Istanbul Attorney General’s request to conduct a search at the consulate from diplomatic channels becomes impossible. The evidences of a monstrous murder at the consulate, an unspecified sound recording, even the statement of the local employee who could not sleep due to a guilty conscience, and the messages sent from Qatar and Iran right from the first day of the incident, saying that Khashoggi was killed, kidnapped, and dismembered, are not taken seriously.
After a couple of months and a long bilateral talks,Turkey’s efforts to acquit itself of the murder in the eyes of the international community give results and it is agreed that a team of mysterious thugs have abducted Khashoggi in the heart of Istanbul, around Sultan Ahmet Mosque, and possibly murdered him.
Turkey’s international reputation suffers a great damage, Istanbul’s rank among the top safest cities falls down dramatically, the U.S. State Department issues a travel advisory for those traveling to Turkey, Saudi Arabia emerges with additional power in the region, and those dissenting voices, who fled the country, are silenced forever.
However, as they say, “God also has a plan.”
A fiancé, who was waiting for him outside the consulate and would be the first to raise the alarm when Khashoggi never left the building, the people whom she calls and who report the incident to the security forces and international media, and the worldwide reaction, lead to the failure of the whole plan.
Now we have all the details of this abominable incident. From now on, our duty is to bury the remainders of our friend Jamal Khashoggi according to his will and ensure that the perpetrators of this incident will stand a serious trial in front of the whole world.
In the meantime, we are eager to see the end of this process while our eyes and ears are waiting to receive the correct information.
Now we all know very well that sooner or later, the truth will always reveal itself. Thankfully, it was soon this time.