For months, Turkish officials have been leaking gruesome details surrounding Jamal Khashoggi’s death as a counter to President Donald Trump’s moves to absolve Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Trump ally thought to be behind the Saudi journalist’s slaying.
But Ankara took a more direct approach on Friday, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slamming Trump for “turning a blind eye” in Khashoggi’s death, and accusing him of putting money above human values.
Trump’s statements in support of the prince mean that the president is saying, in essence, “ ‘Whatever happens, I will turn a blind eye,’ ” Cavusoglu said in an interview Friday with CNN’s Turkish affiliate, CNN Turk. “This is not the right approach. Money is not everything. … We shouldn’t abandon our humanitarian values.”
Cavusoglu’s rebuke echoes those from other Turkish officials, who have described as comical a message from the president concerning reports that the prince ordered Khashoggi’s slaying.
“Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t,” Trump wrote on Tuesday in a rambling 633-word message, later adding, “In any case, our relationship is with Saudi Arabia.”