Turkey challenges latest Saudi Arabia attempt to explain Khashoggi murder

As promised yesterday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a different story to Saudi Arabia on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

BBC:  Khashoggi murder planned days ahead, says Turkey’s Erdogan

The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned days in advance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told MPs from his ruling party.

He said Turkey had strong evidence Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated and “savage” murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

He also called for the suspects to be tried in Istanbul.

He demanded Saudi Arabia provide answers about where Khashoggi’s body was, and who had ordered the operation.

The Saudi kingdom has provided conflicting accounts of what happened to Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post contributor. After weeks of maintaining he was still alive, the authorities now say the 59-year-old was killed in a rogue operation.

A rogue operation by a rogue state provided with weaponry by the US in particular but also by Britan and France and other countries.

Turkish coup failure

It looks like the coup attempt in Turkey is over and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is back in control. That could mean even more draconian control then before.

There have already been severe restrictions on media and social media. That may get worse.

And the death penalty may be introduced fore those guilty of treason.

The Guardian summarises in Attempted coup in Turkey: what we know so far:

The attempted coup

  • An attempted military coup has apparently been defeated in Turkey, in a bid to oust the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accusing him of undermining the country’s secular traditions.
  • Erdoğan, who returned to Istanbul in the early hours of the morning from his holiday in the resort of Marmaris, said the attempted coup was “treason” undertaken by “a minority within our armed forces”.
  • The president urged people to take to the streets in defence of the government, prompting chaotic scenes as thousands protested alongside tanks.
  • Theprime minister, Binali Yıldırım, declared the first stage of the coup over and said coup fighters using military helicopters would be shot down.
  • There were mass surrenders in Istanbul, with about 50 soldiers on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul abandoning their tanks with their hands raised.
  • The head of the armed forces, General Hulusi Akar, who was reportedly taken hostage, has been freed.
  • But a pro-coup military faction insisted it would continue its fight and there were reports of ongoing clashes in Ankara, where a building in the parliamentary complex was bombed overnight.

Deaths and arrests

  • More than 190 people have been killed, according to General Umit Dundar, the acting chief of the general staff, including 41 police officers, two soldiers, 47 civilians and 104 people described as “coup plotters”. A further 1,440 people have been wounded.
  • Sixteen people involved in the attempted coup were killed in clashes at military police command, and 250 others arrested.
  • Separately, 13 soldiers who tried to storm the presidential palace in Ankara have been arrested.
  • In total, 2,839 members of the armed forces have been arrested, among them 29 colonels and five generals. Rear Admiral Nejat Atilla Demirhan and General Memduh Hakbilen, the chief of staff of Turkey’s command for the Aegean region, are said to be among those detained.

Erdoğan’s response

  • In a defiant address to supporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, Erdoğan said the armed forces needed to understand that they were not in charge of the state, saying the coup plotters had brought out tanks, but “my people” had taken them back.
  • In an earlier statement, the president said the failed coup represented an opportunity to “clean out” the armed forces.
  • He also accused “those in Pennsylvania” – that is, the cleric Fethullah Gülenand his supporters – of betraying the nation and orchestrating the coup.

Turkey on Saturday

  • Yildirim has called an emergency meeting in parliament on Saturday.
  • Flights were diverted from Istanbul’s Ataturk airport and departures cancelled after reports of explosions there but are now resuming.
  • Turkey has closed border crossings to Bulgaria, which said it was beefing up its own border controls.
  • Media outlets including CNN Turk that were shut down by soldiers during the attempted coup are returning to the air.
  • Authorities in Turkey may be blocking or slowing access to social media networks including Twitter and Facebook.


Coup attempt in Turkey

More turmoil in the Islamic world with reports of an apparent coup attempt in Turkey.

Stuff: Turkish military in attempted coup, prime minister says

A group within Turkey’s military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup, the prime minister says, with military jets flying over the capital and reports of vehicles blocking two major bridges in Istanbul.

Turkey’s military said on Friday it had seized power, but prime minister Binali Yildirim said the attempted coup would be put down.

If successful, the overthrow of President Tayyip Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003, would amount to one of the biggest shifts in power in the Middle East in years.

The armed forces had taken power in the country to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights, the military said in a statement sent by email and reported on Turkish TV channels. All of Turkey’s existing foreign relations would be maintained and the rule of law would remain the priority, it said.

BBC: Turkey army group announces takeover on TV

An army group in Turkey says it has taken control of the country, with bridges closed in Istanbul and aircraft flying low over Ankara.

PM Binali Yildirim earlier denounced an “illegal action” by a military “group”, stressing it was not a coup. He said that the government remained in charge.

Traffic has been stopped from crossing both the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul.

There are reports of gunshots in the capital Ankara.

Other reports said soldiers were inside buildings of the Turkish state broadcaster in Ankara.

Gunfire was also heard outside Istanbul police HQ and tanks are said to be stationed outside Istanbul airport. All flights are cancelled, reports say.

CNN Turk reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “safe” but did not elaborate.

A statement from the military group read out on NTV television said: “The power in the country has been seized in its entirety.” Who represents the group remains uncertain.

Regardless of the outcome more instability is one of ther last things the Middle East needs. Turkey is closely involved with the civil war in Syria and has had serious tensions with Russia recently.

Jim Waterson Retweeted Laura Pitel

Nothing says “I’m in control” like addressing the nation over Skype on a mobile phone.

Turkish TV broadcasts a message from Erdogan claiming he’s in control and will punish the coup leaders:


Erdogan: I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports. There is no power higher than the power of the people.

A certain grim irony in Erdogan who shut down free media and tried to shut down social media now having to make his statement via facetime.

NBC reporting US military source claiming Erdogan denied landing rights in Istanbul and seeking asylum in Germany.

Turkish military says in statement: to restore constitutional order, human rights, rule of law and democracy we have taken control.

France 24: Chief of Staff of the Turkish army is dead (unconfirmed)

BREAKING VIDEO: Military Helicopter Opens Fire On Turkish Intelligence Agency HQ