Turkey’s Erdoğan says he was not allowed to speak over Khashoggi case at G20 summit

There was no serious talk of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the G-20 summit roundtable meeting between world leaders over the weekend in Buenos Aires, pro-government newspaper Hürriyet daily columnist Vahap Munyar quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as saying.

The October killing of the 59-year-old Washington Post contributor, known for his criticism of the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has strained the Kingdom’s ties with the West while damaging the image of its de facto leader abroad.

“There was no serious talk on the Khashoggi murder at the round table,’’ the Turkish president said, adding, ‘’So we decided to bring it up during the press conference. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the only one brought up the matter, even if briefly. However, Mohammed bin Salman, in his answer, said something to the effect of ‘Unless there is proof of a crime, nobody can be blamed.’ And unfortunately we didn’t get another opportunity…’’

Erdoğan, speaking to reporters at the G20 summit on Saturday, said that his insistence on solving the Khashoggi killing was not aimed at damaging the Kingdom’s royal family and shedding light on the case would also be in the interest of the Saudi monarchy.

Ankara has said it has evidence documenting that Khashoggi was killed in 7-1/2 minutes, and it has shared this evidence with all countries who requested it, including the United States, Britain, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, for its part, has offered numerous contradictory narratives of the killing and maintains the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder. The latest explanation from the Kingdom states that Khashoggi had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.