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France accuses Erdogan of playing political game over Khashoggi killing, Turkey fumes

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents for his forthcoming marriage

Tuesday November 13, 2018 1:45 AM, ummid.com & Agencies

Khashoggi France Turkey

Paris: Turkey on Monday lashed out at "unacceptable" and "impertinent" comments by the French foreign minister who accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of playing a "political game" over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey had shared recordings linked to the Saudi journalist's murder last month with Riyadh, the United States, France, Britain and other allies, without giving details of the tapes' specific content.

In an interview with France 2 television on Monday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he "for the moment was not aware" of any information transmitted by Ankara, AFP reported.

Asked if the Turkish president was lying, he said: "It means that he has a political game to play in these circumstances."

His comments provoked fury in Ankara.

"We find it unacceptable that he accused President Erdogan of 'playing political games'," the communications director at the Turkish presidency, Fahrettin Altun, told AFP in a written statement.

"Let us not forget that this case would have been already covered up had it not been for Turkey's determined efforts", he added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu responded even more sharply, saying that his French counterpart's accusations amounted to "impertinence".

"It does not fit the seriousness of a foreign minister," he said, accusing Le Drian of "exceeding his authority", he said.

The French foreign ministry later spoke of a "misunderstanding", adding that information provided by Turkey had not allowed for the "full truth" to come out, including who might be responsible for the crime.

"The full truth which we care about isn't just linked to Turkish recordings (...) the full truth is also to be sought in Riyadh and in exchanges with our other partners," the ministry said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents for his forthcoming marriage to a Turkish woman.

Turkey's chief prosecutor has said he was strangled and then dismembered as part of a premeditated plan. There have been claims that his body was dissolved in acid.

Earlier, Salah, the eldest son of Jamal Khashoggi, had also rejected attempts by some parties to politically exploit their father's death.

"I see a lot of people coming out right now and trying to claim his legacy and unfortunately some of them are using that in a political way that we totally don't agree with. Public opinion is important... but my fear is that it's being over politicized. People are throwing analysis that may direct us away from the truth", Salah said while talking to CNN in an interviews.

Saudi Arabia meanwhile has consistently maintained that those behind the mysterious killing of Khashoggi will be brought to book and punished.

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