Categories
Alaturka

Khashoggi's fiancee: Killers must be brought to justice

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – The fiancee of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday demanded the international community to help reveal the truth about the whereabouts of his body.

In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post exactly one month after Khashoggi first disappeared and also on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, Hatice Cengiz said the “coincidence is tragic and painful. ”

“If the democracies of the world do not take genuine steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of this brazen, callous act — one that has caused universal outrage among their citizens — what moral authority are they left with? ” Cengiz said.

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.

Her piece was an invitation to the international community to take steps to reveal the whole truth of the killing, to bring the perpetrators to justice and to deliver Khashoggi's body to his family.

“We are now going through a test of humanity. And it requires leadership. The biggest responsibility lies on the heads of the governments, ” Cengiz said.

Cengiz noted efforts of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and others there in managing the matter, and called for other leaders to join in these efforts.

“So I invite the leaders of all European countries and the United States to pass this test. Justice must be served. Those who ordered this murder — even if they stand in the highest political office — should also be prosecuted. I demand justice for my beloved Jamal, ” said Cengiz.

“We must all send a clear message that authoritarian regimes cannot kill journalists ever again, ” she wrote.

Advertisements
Categories
Politika

US senators want classified briefing on Khashoggi

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – Eight senators are requesting a classified briefing on whether the U.S. intelligence community had prior knowledge of threats and plans to abduct Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders joined seven Democrats in signing a letter to Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to learn more about the U.S. knowledge of the plans.

“Congress must understand the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. In order to fulfill our oversight obligation, we request a classified briefing, ” the letter said.

The letter was sent Tuesday to Coats amid reports U.S. intelligence had prior knowledge of Saudi plans to abduct Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. After weeks of the Saudi government denying involvement, it said he was killed in a fist fight.

“It is critical that Congress understand whether the Intelligence Community had advance knowledge of a Saudi threat to U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, ” the letter said. “We request clarification of whether the Intelligence Community identified such a threat prior to Khashoggi’s disappearance and the nature of this threat. ”

The letter specifically referenced the Post, who said U.S. intelligence obtained a plan by the Saudis to capture the journalist.

The senators cited a directive which says intelligence officials have a “duty to warn individuals or groups about threats of intentional killing, serious bodily injury, and kidnapping. ”

In addition to the classified briefing, the lawmakers called for an intelligence analysis on Saudi Arabia and the political dynamics of the royal family.

Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal, Dick Durbin, Chris Van Hollen, Brian Schatz, Patrick Leahy, Amy Klobuchar and Ed Markey are the other senators who signed the letter.

Categories
Alaturka

Most Americans stressed over country's future: Poll

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – A large number of Americans are stressed over the future of their country, according to a poll released Tuesday.

In its annual “Stress in America” survey, the American Psychological Association (APA) reached out to 3,458 Americans across the country’s 50 states and found that more than two-thirds or 69 percent of them were stressed over the trajectory the U.S. was currently taking.

The figure is an uptick from last year, when 63 percent felt this way.

The survey was released ahead of midterm elections on Nov. 6, when Americans across the U.S. will flock to polling stations, voting for governors, local officials and members of Congress.

Incidents of political violence and hate have marred the weeks leading up to the polls, with pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats and critics of U.S. President Donald Trump and a gunman killing 11 in a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pennsylvania.

“The environment is very toxic,” Arthur C. Evans, the APA’s chief executive officer, told The Washington Post.

The focus of the APA's survey was on Generation Z, or those aged 15-21 in the U.S.

It found that 75 percent of Generation Zer’s consider mass shootings significantly stressful.

“Gen Z members are also more stressed than adults overall about other issues in the news, such as the separation and deportation of immigrant and migrant families and sexual harassment and assault reports, ” the APA said in a press release.

Some 57 percent of Generation Zer’s said migrant family separation caused them stress and 53 percent said the same about sexual harassment.

But despite their concern for the country’s future, Generation Zer’s are much less likely to vote in the midterm elections. Only half of them said they planned to vote while 70 percent of overall adults said they planned to, according to the poll.

Evans also told the Post that stress can cause a “range of physical and psychological manifestations” including stomach aches, headaches and sleeplessness and lead to obesity, depression and cardiovascular problems.

“More than nine in 10 Gen Z adults [or 91 percent] said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, ” the APA noted.

Categories
Alaturka

US must stop helping Saudi Arabia in Yemen: Senator

By Sena Guler

ANKARA (AA) – The U.S. should urgently redefine its relationship with Saudi Arabia and halt support for the Kingdom in its war with Yemen, a leading senator said, citing the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In an op-ed published Wednesday in The New York Times, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said the Kingdom needs to be shown it does not “have a blank check to continue violating human rights.

“One place we can start is by ending United States support for the war in Yemen, ” he said.

“Not only has this war created a humanitarian disaster in one of the world’s poorest countries, but also American involvement in this war has not been authorized by Congress and is therefore unconstitutional. ”

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s public infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as one of “the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

“The United States is deeply engaged in this war. We are providing bombs the Saudi-led coalition is using, we are refueling their planes before they drop those bombs, and we are assisting with intelligence,” Sanders wrote.

He said in many cases, civilians were targeted by bombs.

“In one of the more horrible recent instances, an American-made bomb obliterated a school bus full of young boys, killing dozens and wounding many more,” he wrote. “A CNN report found evidence that American weapons have been used in a string of such deadly attacks on civilians since the war began.”

Stating the U.S. did not want to harm its arms sales with Saudi Arabia, he said U.S. President Donald Trump replied to a question about Khashoggi killing saying “the Saudis are spending “$110 billion” on military equipment.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was last seen Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. After days of denying knowledge of his whereabouts, Saudi officials last week admitted that Khashoggi was killed in a “brawl ” at the consulate.

Sanders said earlier this year, he urged Congress to end U.S. support in the Kingdom's was in Yemen.

“In February, along with two of my colleagues, Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, and Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, I introduced Senate Joint Resolution 54, calling on the president to withdraw from the Saudi-led war in Yemen, ” he said, adding the Senate delayed the consideration of the resolution with a 55 to 44 vote.

“Since then, this crisis has only worsened and our complicity become even greater,” he added.

He also said he intended to bring the resolution back with more co-sponsors. “The brutal murder of Mr. Khashoggi demands that we make clear that United States support for Saudi Arabia is not unconditional.”

Sanders shared hope for Congress to take its duty “seriously” and end American support for the “carnage” in Yemen, sending a message that “human lives are worth more than profits for arms manufacturers”.

Categories
Alaturka

Saudis use charm, fierce lobbying to gain power

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – Saudi Arabia's cultivated efforts to create warm relations between Riyadh and Washington is being tested amid the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The “sophisticated Saudi influence machine ” had used its wealth to funnel millions of dollars into the pockets of think tanks, law firms, consultants and defense contractors.

Saudi Arabia spent $27.3 million on lobbying efforts in the U.S. in 2017, a large increase from the $7.7 million spent in 2016, according to the newspaper.

The country also used flattery and friendliness to bring top U.S. influencers to the table, by hosting lavish galas and dinners, as well as offering Super Bowl tickets to Fox News' Bret Baier and CNN's Jake Tapper.

The Post wrote the Saudis increased lobbying efforts after the U.S. government successfully passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which allowed families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for supporting the attacks.

“Military veterans were recruited by Saudi consultants to come to Washington to tell Congress the measure could open them up to potential litigation, ” the Post wrote.

Lobbying efforts led to the failure of a bill introduced in Congress which sought to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen that has led to what the UN calls “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. ”

“During the seven weeks leading up to the crown prince’s visit and Yemen resolution vote, lobbyists reported 759 contacts with members of Congress, staffers, academics and reporters on behalf of the Saudi government, according to public records, ” the Post wrote.

The oil-rich kingdom, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), also invested in prominent think tanks, giving grants to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Brookings Institution and the Middle East Institute (MEI).

The MEI received between $1.25 million and $4 million from the Saudis in 2016 – 2017, and also received $20 million from the UAE in 2016, the newspaper reported.

However, all three think tanks have said they are in the process of reconsidering the grants due to the “global condemnation ” of the killing of Khashoggi, according to the Post.

After denying knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts for two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday admitted the Post columnist was killed during a fight inside its Istanbul Consulate on Oct. 2.

The CSIS reportedly said it would not continue a $900,000 grant from the Saudi government, and Brookings Institute said it was closing a six-figure research granted given by the Saudis.

“For think tanks, as well as universities and museums, taking Saudi money is going to leave a stain for some time to come,” Daniel Benjamin, director of the John Sloan Dickey Center at Dartmouth University, told the Post.

Categories
Alaturka

Saudi Arabia sacks top officials over Khashoggi death

ANKARA (AA) – Saudi Arabia on Saturday fired senior intelligence officials and decided to restructure its main intelligence agency after confirming the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Earlier Saturday, Saudi Arabia confirmed that Khashoggi died after a brawl inside the consulate.

According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Saudi Arabia decided to restructure the General Intelligence Presidency “in order to ensure the proper functioning of its work and the determination of responsibilities “.

The Kingdom issued a royal order relieving Deputy President of General Intelligence Ahmed bin Hassan bin Mohammed Assiri from his post.

Saud bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, advisor at the Royal Court, was also removed from his post.

Saudi Arabia terminated the services of a number of general intelligence officers including the assistant chief of general intelligence for intelligence affairs, assistant chief of general intelligence for human resources, and director of the general directorate of security and protection at the General Intelligence Presidency.

On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

On Wednesday, crime scene investigation units arrived at the official residence of Saudi Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibi around 4.40 p.m. local time (1340GMT). Al-Otaibi had left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday.

Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the residence as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Categories
Alaturka

Erdogan, Saudi King discuss Khashoggi case over phone

By Izmail Ozdemir

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz discussed the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Friday night phone call.

The two leaders agreed on the importance of full cooperation so that the investigation proceeds smoothly, said a Turkish presidential source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

They further agreed on the exchange of information about the latest developments.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has gone missing since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

On the day of his disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while Khashoggi was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

On Wednesday, crime scene investigation units arrived at the official residence of Saudi Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibi around 4.40 p.m. local time (1340GMT). Al-Otaibi had left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday.

Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the residence as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Categories
Alaturka

UPDATE – Trump ‘concerned’ over fate of Saudi journalist

ADDS STATEMENT FROM US SECRETARY OF STATE

By Dildar Baykan

NEW YORK (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump expressed concern Monday over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen visiting the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

“I am concerned about it. I don’t like hearing about it. Hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now nobody knows anything about it. But there’s some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn as he was returning from a trip by helicopter to Orlando, Florida.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later called on the Saudi government to support a “thorough investigation” into the matter.

“As the President has conveyed, the United States is concerned by his disappearance. State Department senior officials have spoken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels about this matter.

“We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation, ” he said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, senior Republican Senator Lindsay Graham reacted strongly to the news.

Riyadh must provide “honest answers, ” Graham said on his Twitter account, adding his position is shared by fellow Senators Bob Corker, a Republican, and Ben Cardin, a Democrat.

“We agree if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid — economically and otherwise, ” Graham said.

“Our country’s values should be and must be a cornerstone of our foreign policy with foes and allies alike, ” he added.

Khashoggi, a journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Earlier Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the Saudi consulate to prove whether or not Khashoggi exited the building after entering, saying the consulate officials “can't get away with [simply] saying 'he left the building'. ”

Turkish police investigating the case said Saturday that 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and entered the consulate while Khashoggi was inside.

Istanbul prosecutors are investigating the incident, while the consulate said on Twitter that it was working in coordination with Turkish authorities.

Turkey said it expects “full cooperation ” from Saudi authorities in finding the missing journalist.

Categories
Alaturka

Trump ‘concerned’ over fate of Saudi journalist

By Dildar Baykan

NEW YORK (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump expressed concern Monday over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen visiting the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

“I am concerned about it. I don’t like hearing about it. Hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now nobody knows anything about it. But there’s some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn as he was returning from a trip by helicopter to Orlando, Florida.

Earlier in the day, senior Republican Senator Lindsay Graham reacted strongly to the news.

Riyadh must provide “honest answers, ” Graham said on his Twitter account, adding his position is shared by fellow Senators Bob Corker, a Republican, and Ben Cardin, a Democrat.

“We agree if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid — economically and otherwise, ” Graham said.

“Our country’s values should be and must be a cornerstone of our foreign policy with foes and allies alike, ” he added.

Khashoggi, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since he entered the consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the Saudi consulate to prove whether or not Khashoggi exited the building after entering, saying the consulate officials “can't get away with [simply] saying 'he left the building'. ”

Turkish police investigating the case said Saturday that 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and entered the consulate while Khashoggi was inside.

Istanbul prosecutors are investigating the incident, while the consulate said on Twitter that it was working in coordination with Turkish authorities.

Turkey on Monday said it expects “full cooperation ” from Saudi authorities in finding the missing journalist.

Categories
Ekonomi

Trump, yine Amazon'u hedef aldı

NEW YORK (AA) – ABD Başkanı Donald Trump, e-ticaret devi Amazon ile şirketin kurucusu ve Üst Yöneticisi (CEO) Jeff Bezos'un sahibi olduğu The Washington Post gazetesini eleştirmeye devam etti.

Trump, Twitter hesabından yaptığı paylaşımda, “Amazon Washington Post, 2 ay önce Yüksek Mahkeme'de internet vergi davasını kaybettiğinden beri bana karşı cephe aldı. ABD Posta Ofisi'ne gerçek maliyetin çok küçük miktarına paketlerinin büyük bölümünü taşıtıp onu kendi kuryesi gibi kullanıyorlar. ” ifadelerini kullandı.

Trump bugünkü paylaşımında, “Fikrimce, the Washington Post gazetesi Amazon için pahalı bir lobiciden başka bir şey değil (bir servet kaybediyor.) Birçok kişinin getirmek istediği antitröst iddialara karşı korunmak için mi kullanılıyor? ” yorumunda bulundu.

ABD Yüksek Mahkemesi, geçen ay, eyaletlerin internet üzerinden yapılan alışverişlerden (e-ticaret) satış vergisi toplayabileceğine karar vermişti.

Trump, nisan ayında yaptığı paylaşımda, ABD Posta Ofisi'ni, Amazon'un paketlerini taşıdığı için “kurye ” olmakla nitelendirmiş ve Post Ofisi'nin büyük miktarda para kaybettiğini iddia etmişti.

Amazon CEO'su Jeff Bezos'un 2013'te satın aldığı The Washington Post gazetesi, Trump'ı seçim kampanyası sırasında hedef almış ve Beyaz Saray'da göreve başlamasının ardından farklı politikalarını eleştirmeye devam etmişti.