French accusations go too far: Turkey's Cavusoglu

By Leyla Ataman Koyuncuoglu

ANTALYA, Turkey (AA) – French criticisms of the Turkish president’s handling of the case of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi crossed the line, said Turkey’s foreign minister on Monday.

"The French foreign minister went too far, and he has to know how to talk to a president," said Mevlut Cavusoglu, accusing Jean-Yves Le Drian of not telling the truth.

Le Drian on Monday claimed that — contrary to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statements — France doesn't have recordings related to the Khashoggi killing, saying Erdogan was playing “a political game” over the case.

On Saturday, Erdogan said Ankara had shared recordings related to the Khashoggi killing with Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K.

"I know our intelligence service gave all the information, including wiretaps and transcripts, to French intelligence at their request on Oct. 24," said Cavusoglu.

He said that Turkey gave evidence about the Khashoggi killing to several countries, calling Le Drian accusing Erdogan “rude.”

French officials could soon "deny Khashoggi was killed, which even Saudi Arabia has accepted,” added Cavusoglu.

"We will pursue the Khashoggi case to the end. We’re cooperating with everyone internationally,” he said.

"As the whole world is praising Turkey’s stance, the French foreign minister’s accusations and rudeness are extremely puzzling. What’s behind this? Are they trying to cover up this killing?"

He pledged to look into any French-Saudi agreements.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted he had been killed at the consulate and that it was premeditated.