Khashoggi's daughters vow to keep his legacy alive

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – While Jamal Khashoggi was a complex man, to his daughters, he was simply known as "Dad".

In an opinion piece published Friday in The Washington Post, Noha Khashoggi and Razan Jamal Khashoggi shared memories of their father.

For the sisters, life growing up included visits to countless museums and historical sites, reflecting their parents’ love of knowledge. They also recalled staying up nights wondering what their father was doing on one of his many trips abroad, “trusting that no matter how long he was gone, we would see him again, wide-armed, waiting for a hug”.

“As bittersweet as it was, we knew from a young age that Dad’s work meant that his reach extended far beyond our family, that he was an important man whose words had an effect on people over a great distance.”

Noha and Razan also wrote about the pride they had in their father's work and said they "understood the awe and grandeur with which some people viewed him".

"Dad certainly had a pragmatic side, but in his dreams and ambitions, he was always striving for a utopian version of reality," they said.

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

With the world watching, the Saudi administration initially said he had left the consulate alive until admitting weeks later that he was killed there.

The two sisters recounted the days after their father was first reported missing and how the family had visited his home in Virginia.

"The hardest part was seeing his empty chair. His absence was deafening. We could see him sitting there, glasses on his forehead, reading or typing away."

"This is no eulogy, for that would confer a state of closure. Rather, this is a promise that his light will never fade, that his legacy will be preserved within us," they wrote.

"We feel blessed to have been raised with his moral compass, his respect for knowledge and truth, and his love.

"Until we meet again in the next life."

Nobel laureate calls for end to war in Yemen

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – The war in Yemen must come to an end, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates must be held accountable for the destruction they caused, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate said Wednesday.

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni journalist, wrote that the war has caused massive damage to Yemen’s infrastructure and has left millions on the verge of starvation and famine.

"Why have the Saudis and their allies refused to allow the legitimate government to return to the liberated territories?" Karman wrote. "Why have Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two of the wealthiest countries in the world, allowed this humanitarian crisis to continue?"

Meanwhile, Yemen has been blockaded by land, air and sea, and there have been "massacres against civilians" in markets, refugee camps, hospitals and schools.

"The path to ending the war is clear. First, the United States and other countries must cease arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the UAE," Karman wrote.

Neither the UN Security Council nor the western backers of the Saudi-led coalition have questioned the logic behind the conflict, she said.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

Tens of thousands of people — including numerous Yemeni civilians — are believed to have been killed in the conflict, which has left much of the country’s basic infrastructure in ruins.

The UN currently estimates that around 14 million Yemenis are at risk of famine, and using data provided by the UN, the rights group Save the Children concluded that 85,000 children in Yemen under the age of five have died from hunger.

Karman also said the murder of Jamal Khashoggi could create "global awareness" about Saudi Arabia and bring attention back to the crisis in Yemen.

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

After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, the Saudi administration admitted weeks later that he was killed there.

The Nobel laureate also noted that the Houthis “must be compelled to cease their destructive behavior”.

"Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Houthis must be told with one voice: Enough is enough," Karman added.

Turkey gives list of 84 FETO members to US: Cavusoglu

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has given the United States a list of 84 members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) that it wants American authorities to extradite, said the nation's foreign minister.

Speaking to Turkish reporters at Ankara's embassy in Washington, Mevlut Cavusoglu said he delivered the list to his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo, and White House national security adviser John Bolton.

Earlier, Cavusoglu and Pompeo held a 45-minute meeting at the State Department, where they discussed bilateral and regional issues as well as the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Turning to Khashoggi's killing, Cavusoglu said there are unanswered questions and Turkey is insisting that details regarding the murder be clarified, including who ordered Khashoggi's murder.

"Many countries do not want to harm their relations with Saudi Arabia because of the Khashoggi murder. Neither do we. However, the murder must be uncovered," he said.

Cavusoglu added that Turkey does not view the Khashoggi incident as a political matter.

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

After initially saying he left the consulate alive, the Saudi administration admitted weeks later that he was killed there.

US has leverage on Saudis to reveal Khashoggi case: NYT

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – A month and a half after the Jamal Khashoggi's killing, punishments were handed to some individuals responsible, but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has walked away unscathed, The New York Times said Friday.

In an opinion piece, The Times wrote that with the Saudi public prosecutor seeking the death penalty against five of the suspects involved in the crime, and the U.S. imposing sanctions on the 17 suspects involved, Washington seems to be ready to buy the latest narrative provided by the Saudis.

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

With the world watching, after initially saying he had left the consulate alive, weeks later the Saudi administration admitted he was killed there.

Investigation of the incident suggests a special hit squad came to the consulate, scouted out Istanbul’s Belgrad Forest, and tried to cover up evidence at the consulate building.

The international community refused to accept the Saudis’ claim that the incident was not a premeditated murder.

"Whether the latest version will put the Khashoggi issue to rest remains to be seen," The Times said.

Turkey does not seem to buy the latest narrative provided by the Saudis, and has been putting pressure on the kingdom.

"I want to say that I find some explanations [of the prosecutor’s office] unsatisfying," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a conference. "We find the steps taken positive but inadequate."

The newspaper noted that while the U.S. has supported many despotic regimes in the past, bin Salman's rule in Saudi Arabia has pushed too far on a number of issues, including the war in Yemen, blockading Qatar, and detaining Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

"Through most of his misrule, Prince Mohammed continued to enjoy the favor of President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner," The Times said. "They saw the young prince as an ally, along with Israel, against Iran, and as a buyer of limitless American arms."

The newspaper argued that the U.S. now has leverage over the Saudis, and they must use this leverage to reveal the truth about how Khashoggi died, end the war in Yemen, repair its relations with Qatar, stabilize oil prices and possibly "replace the crown prince with a less impulsive and dangerous heir."

"Any such demands, however, would be hypocrisy if not accompanied by an end to the kingdom’s brazen flouting of fundamental human rights," The Times added. "These did not begin with the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, but that’s where they, and American complicity, must end."

Khashoggi's fiancée shocked over new death details

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – The fiancée of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi expressed shock and sadness Thursday upon hearing the latest reports on his killing.

"I'm unable to express my sorrow to learn about [the] dissolving [of] your body Jamal! They killed you and chopped up your body, depriving me and your family of conducting your funeral prayer and burying you in Madinah as [you] wished,” said Hatice Cengiz in a post on her Twitter account.

"Are these killers and those behind it human beings? Oh my God!"

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Once inside, he was immediately strangled and then dismembered, according to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s office.

After announcing he was killed, Saudi Arabia has yet to reveal the location of Khashoggi’s body.

Iran to exploit Khashoggi killing: Johnson

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – If the killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi evade justice, Iran will exploit the consequences, a member of Britain’s Parliament said Thursday.

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Boris Johnson, a former foreign secretary of the UK, said he believes Khashoggi's death was orchestrated by the "highest levels of the Saudi regime".

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Post, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After shifting narratives, the Saudi government admitted that he had been killed, yet still have not disclosed the whereabouts of his body.

"My awful suspicion — and I pray I am wrong — is that for one reason or another, the killers, or at least those who ultimately gave the order, may get away with it," Johnson said.

He noted that many “powerful people” throughout the world fear a destabilized Saudi government would wreak havoc on the Middle East, and most leaders would prefer the issue to be “brushed under the carpet".

Johnson then went on to say that in the midst of the Khashoggi affair, the world should focus on Iran, and its influence in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen needs to be checked.

He added that Iran was responsible for its share of exploiting policies laid out by the West, including fueling the Houthi rebels against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

"The war in Yemen is turning out to be bad for Saudi Arabia — and, alas, is boosting, not reversing, Iranian influence," Johnson said.

"The murder of Khashoggi has been terrible for Saudi Arabia," he said. "And if there is one way to boost Iran, and all regional critics of the Saudi regime, it would be to hush it all up."

Trump 'ignorant' of press freedoms: US media

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – While U.S. President Donald Trump often clashes with the media, many news outlets took the White House's latest move as a sign of ignorance in defending press freedom.

The White House on Wednesday suspended CNN's White House correspondent Jim Acosta's press credentials after the journalist engaged in a back-and-forth exchange with Trump.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the reason for the suspension was because Acosta assaulted an intern who was trying to take the microphone from him.

A hard pass is a press credential that allows a reporter to enter the White House grounds. Reporters without one have to request clearance from the White House press office.

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration,” Sanders said in a statement. “We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”

Acosta responded to the statement on Twitter, saying "this is a lie."

Sanders released a video of the incident which has come under scrutiny as another video was released that showed Acosta defending his position.

"You manipulated this video. The lies never end," Matt Dornic, CNN's vice president of communications, said on Twitter after posting a longer video of the interaction showing Acosta did not place his hands on the intern.

The decision was rebuked by a wave of news outlets, who said that Acosta’s pass should be restored.

"What is most alarming in the Acosta incident is its illustration of the extent of Mr. Trump’s ignorance of the role of a free press in American tradition and democracy, and of the president’s role in defending it," The New York Times said in an editorial piece.

CNN released a statement Wednesday saying the "decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better."

The Washington Post said CNN should sue the White House for revoking Acosta's press pass.

"That action amounts to punishing a member of the press for doing his job of informing the public and then creating a false pretext about its retaliation," Margaret Sullivan said in an opinion piece to The Post.

Other prominent figures also came to the CNN reporter's defense, telling him to continue to seek the truth.

"Our Founders believed that the freedom of the press was so sacred that they protected it in the First Amendment. Stay in the fight for truth and keep asking the tough questions. Our nation is counting on you," Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said to Acosta on Twitter.

"@realDonaldTrump’s behavior and the decision to revoke @Acosta’s press credentials is unacceptable. In our society, reporters have a responsibility to question our leader and hold them accountable," he added.

Jeff Mason, former president of the White House Correspondents' Association, said he was seated next to Acosta during the altercation, and Sanders description of the event was false.

Saudi elites still detained year after roundup: report

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – A full year after Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman turned the Ritz Carlton hotel into a jail for the kingdom's elite, many still remain imprisoned, according to The Washington Post.

The Saudi Attorney General said there were 56 people imprisoned earlier this year, and last month bin Salman said there were only eight still detained.

"But other people familiar with the detentions said the number is much higher, with 45 Ritz detainees still locked up," the newspaper said.

A prominent member of the royal family that is still detained is Prince Turki bin Abdullah, son of the late King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz. He served as the head of the King Abdullah Foundation, a multibillion dollar charitable organization.

Some human rights experts, however, say bin Salman is planning to release some prisoners to cool tensions after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

“They don’t want to do it, but they are under pressure, and they will do it to release some pressure,” Yahya Assiri, a Saudi human rights activist living in self-exile in London, told the Post.

Saudi authorities released Prince Khaled bin Talal on Friday, who was critical of bin Salman's decision to strip the religious police of their power, according to the Post.

The shake up at the Ritz Carlton last year was an effort by bin Salman to solidify his power and eliminate rivals within the royal family, targeting the family of late King Abdullah, who is the brother of King Salman bin Abdelaziz.

In addition to jailing Turki, King Abdullah's other sons Prince Muteib bin Abdullah, Prince Faisal bin Abdullah and Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah were also thrown in jail.

The al-Hair ­high-security prison south of Riyadh is currently holding Adel Fakeih, 59, former mayor of Jeddah, Walid Fitaihi, 54, prominent physician, Amr al-Dabbagh, 52, chairman of the Jeddah-based Al-Dabbagh Group, Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, 72, a Saudi-Ethiopian businessman who had a net worth of $8.1 billion last year and Bakr bin Laden, Jeddah-based chairman of the powerful Saudi Binladin Group, according to media reports.

“These are the families that helped Abdul Aziz unify and build the country in the 1920s and ’30s,” Robert Lacey, a British historian who has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, told the Post. “Now they are treated as criminals.”

Turkey praised for handling of Khashoggi affair

By Serdar Bitmez and Ali Semerci

DOHA, Qatar (AA) – The chief of a Qatari daily said Friday that Turkey had refrained from politicizing the killing of a Saudi journalist and was dealing with the issue in a professional manner.

Jaber al-Haremi, director general of Dar al-Arab, told Anadolu Agency that while Turkey had endeavored to uphold good relations with the Saudi kingdom since the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, Riyadh had continually rejected Ankara’s positive approach.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to receive paperwork he needed to get married. Once inside, he was immediately strangled and then dismembered, according to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s office.

Al-Haremi said Oct. 2 would remain a day of sorrow for the press, emphasizing that Khashoggi was targeted for his ideas, ideals and aspirations as well as his advocacy for jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia and throughout the world.

He added that Khashoggi had been trying to establish media organizations and platforms that would defend freedom of speech.

UPDATE – Erdogan says top Saudi officials ordered Khashoggi hit

ADDS MORE FROM ERDOGAN

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday the order for journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing came from the top levels of the Saudi government.

In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post, Erdogan said Turkey knows the perpetrators are among the 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia.

"We also know that those individuals came to carry out their orders: Kill Khashoggi and leave. Finally, we know that the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government," said Erdogan.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to receive paperwork he needed to get married.

Once inside, he was immediately strangled and then dismembered, according to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s office.

The president said Turkey's efforts led the world to learn Khashoggi was killed in cold blood by a death squad and established his murder was premeditated.

"Yet there are other, no less significant questions whose answers will contribute to our understanding of this deplorable act," said Erdogan, including the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body, the identity of the "local collaborator" who was given his remains, and who ordered the killing.

"Unfortunately, the Saudi authorities have refused to answer those questions," said Erdogan, who pledged to keep asking questions, which he said were crucial to the Turkish probe into the murder.

– 'Proper burial'

"At the very least, he deserves a proper burial in line with Islamic customs. We owe it to his family and friends, including his former colleagues at The Post, to give them an opportunity to say their goodbyes and pay their respects to this honorable man," said Erdogan.

He said Ankara and Riyadh enjoy friendly relations despite the killing.

"I do not believe for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques, ordered the hit on Khashoggi. Therefore, I have no reason to believe that his murder reflected Saudi Arabia’s official policy. In this sense, it would be wrong to view the Khashoggi slaying as a 'problem' between two countries," said the president.

Also, he said the "longtime" friendship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia does not mean Ankara would "will turn a blind eye to the premeditated murder that unfolded in front of our very eyes.

"The killing of Khashoggi is inexplicable," said Erdogan.

The president warned that no one should dare commit "such acts on the soil of a NATO ally again".

"If anyone chooses to ignore that warning, they will face severe consequences. The Khashoggi murder was a clear violation and a blatant abuse of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Failure to punish the perpetrators could set a very dangerous precedent.”

Erdogan also slammed inaction against the Saudi consul general, who he said lied through his teeth to the media and fled Turkey shortly afterward, calling it "deeply concerning".

"As responsible members of the international community, we must reveal the identities of the puppet masters behind Khashoggi’s killing and discover those in whom Saudi officials — still trying to cover up the murder — have placed their trust," he said.