Saudi Arabian Journalist Disappears

Dillon Harger, Reporter

On October 2, 2018, Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Turkey to obtain the proper documents to marry his Turkish wife. This was the last time he was seen alive. In a seemingly unreal series of news breaks, Turkish investigators and Saudi officials continued to spar over the exact details of what happened. Initially, representatives of the crown stated that Khashoggi left the consulate freely and that if he was killed, they would have known about it, but what government that wishes to continue to operate in the global sphere would admit to assassinating an opposition journalist? It would seem Saudi Arabia believed themselves to be untouchable and that this killing was to be a show of force, similar to the deaths of Russians opposed to Putin’s tightening grip on freedom. After it was found Turkey had obtained evidence proving that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, Saudi Arabia tried to spin the story that there had been a fist fight in the consulate which led to the accidental death of the journalist. Obviously this was a lie, the operation was known to be premeditated after Surveillance footage showed one of the accused operatives wearing the clothes Khashoggi wore on that day to provide false accounts of witnesses seeing Khashoggi out and about.

Through this whole time, Turkey has continued to put pressure on Saudi Arabia to protect free journalism in Saudi Arabia, but Turkey has rarely been one to support free press in its own country. This is why everything reported by the Turkish government must be taken with a grain of salt. For Erdogan specifically, this is a great opportunity to gain leverage over the Saudis. For years, tensions between the two countries have been up and down. The Crown and the Republic clashed in the Gulf when Saudi Arabia and others cut all ties with Qatar after accusing the country of supporting terrorists. In response, Erdogan sent ships carrying food and aid to Qatar, to provoke the Saudis. It seems Erdogan is using the Khashoggi scandal to weaken the position of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman, since the Prince has been jailing his political rivals to seize their assets, possibly over fears of a coup. It will be interesting and somewhat terrifying to see how future relations shape between the two nations as they vie for the lead spot in the Arab world.