Erdogan plans visit to Saudi Arabia, to do what?

Erdogan’s office let the press know that he is planning to visit Saudi Arabia in February. The trip will be another attempt to make good with Gulf Arab nations, after relations froze as a result of Turkey’s support of Qatar, HAMAS and Moslem Brotherhood. Times change, of course and Erdogan is now desperately strapped for cash. He naively believes that investments from UAE as well as Saudi Arabia can rescue his besieged administration.  They won’t, because Arabs know full well that any funds invested in Turkey will be squandered by Erdogan’s bizarre economic policies.


However in the meantime, they can compel Erdogan to create fewer problems for them.  Example?


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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to promise that he won’t mention journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder again, The Wall Street Journal reported.


Erdogan said he plans to visit Saudi Arabia next month after bin Salman reportedly invited him. The move is an effort to overcome tensions between the two nations that were further strained after Khashoggi was killed in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.


Khashoggi entered the consulate on October 2, 2018, to pick up marital documents needed to marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, but never came out.


Turkish officials have alleged that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and that his body was dismembered with a bone saw. Officials from the US and the United Nations have also corroborated these allegations. His remains have yet to be found.


A declassified CIA intelligence report directly implicated the Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi’s murder.


A Turkish court is trying 26 Saudi nationals connected with the murder in absentia, with the next trial date set for July 8, Insider’s Azmi Haroun previously reported.


Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, put 11 people on trial for what they said was a “rogue operation” in Khashoggi’s killing. In December 2019, the Riyadh Criminal Court sentenced five of them to death. Three others were given prison sentences.


However, multiple members of the hit squad that killed Khashoggi are believed to be living in luxury villas in a government-run Saudi security compound, The Guardian reported last week.


The Journal reported that Saudi Arabia has not confirmed the meeting between the Saudi crown prince and Erdogan but people familiar with the efforts have told the outlet that the two leaders have been trying to meet for weeks.


While bin Salman’s goal may be to ease the diplomatic issues and narrative following Khashoggi’s killing, Erdogan may be moving forward with the meeting for economic support to help with Turkey’s currency crisis, the Journal reported.


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.