Trevor Dobbs, Staff Writer
Tensions are rising between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, as several events have begun to unfold yet again between the two counties. These most recent tensions started Oct. 2, 2018, when Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey for the purpose of obtaining documents to marry a Turkish national, and he never exited the building.
His disappearance prompted many people to be concerned with his whereabouts, given the nature of the location, and drew the attention of international media companies around the world. Shortly after Khashoggi disappeared, an investigation was opened to figure out where Khashoggi had disappeared and what happened to him. Media outlets around the world are watching closely to see what happens. Saudi Arabia denies any responsibility for Khashoggi’s disappearance.
During the investigation, when Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan ordered a search of the Saudi Consulate, Saudi officials initially denied entrance to Turkish investigators. The investigation prompted a vast amount of speculation and suspicion from not only the Turkish government, but the entire international community as to what Saudi Arabia could be hiding. After pressure from the international community, specifically Prime Minister Theresa May in the United Kingdom, President Emmanuel Macron in France and President Donald Trump in the United States, the Saudi government finally approved the Turkish government to conduct the search for the purposes of the investigation.
After going through the current evidence obtained over the course of the investigation up to this point, Turkish investigators believe that Khashoggi was probably killed shortly after he arrived in the consulate Oct. 2 and that his body was disposed out of some back door of the consulate. Turkish officials are confident their investigators will obtain the evidence they need soon to figure out exactly what happened. So far, what they can absolutely confirm by means of evidence from a closed-circuit TV surveillance system is that Khashoggi did enter the building and never left.
These two countries, similar as they may be in that they are both religiously and culturally a part of the Islamic world, can be best described as both “friend and foe.” The latter may be the case for the near and immediate future as these dramatic events begin to unfold, further intensifying previous situations.
Another recent example of tension between Turkey and Saudi Arabia was the Qatari diplomatic crisis, to which Saudi Arabia and Turkey found themselves on completely different sides of the issue. To the disagreement of Erdogan and the Turkish Government, the Royal Government of Saudi Arabia and other Islamic nations set up physical blockades and international boycotts to isolate Qatar in response to Qatar’s state funded news agency Al Jazeera’s ties to the Muslim brotherhood, an organization that Erdogan supports to the disapproval of the other Islamic nations.
With the disagreements over the Qatari diplomatic crisis and the disappearance of Khashoggi, it is unclear what will come of the already strained relationship of the Saudis and the Turkish. If it is found and proven this was a premeditated cover-up murder, then we could potentially see a very serious diplomatic crisis, followed by a whole array of sanctions from the Middle East as well as the West. Now all we can do is wait for the investigation and see what might unfold between not only the two countries, but between Saudi Arabia and its cultural and economic relationship with the rest of the world.