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Turkey to continue Khashoggi trial as Saudi Arabia closes Turkish schools

A protestor holds 'We didn't forget Jamal Khashoggi' during a protest in front of Saudi Consulate in New York to protest against Saudi Arabia's decision to execute three leading Saudi Arabian scholars including Salman al-Awdah after Ramadan, in New York, United States on 1 June 2019. [Atılgan Özdil - Anadolu Agency]
A protester holds a card reading 'We didn't forget Jamal Khashoggi' during a protest in front of Saudi Consulate in New York, US York, on 1 June 2019 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish officials have revealed that the trial against the Saudi citizens responsible for the assassination of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 will continue, just days after attempting to reconcile with the Kingdom.

According to Middle East Eye, anonymous officials said that the trial in absentia will continue to proceed uninterrupted. "Justice will prevail," said one. "There won't be any disruption in Turkey's own legal process."

This comes just days after Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin announced that the country welcomes and respects Saudi Arabia's own trial of the 20 suspects last year, in efforts to repair its strained relations with Riyadh. Ankara is also looking for the unofficial boycott imposed by the Saudis on Turkish goods and exports to be lifted.

On Wednesday, however, it was reported that the Saudi authorities have ordered the closure of eight Turkish schools across the Kingdom, in another snub to Turkey's reconciliation efforts.

READ: The Khashoggi killing blocks the path to the throne for Bin Salman

The assassination of Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul was a significant cause of the breakdown in relations between the two countries. Turkey condemned the killing and released evidence indicating that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman himself ordered it.

Turkey then proceeded with its trial in absentia against the Saudis who carried out the murder and indicted them. This represented the most serious court case related to the issue, despite it being seen as mostly symbolic.

Ankara's attempts to repair its relations with Riyadh are part of its goal to reconcile with countries in the region with which it has had difficulties over the past few years. While the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have welcomed this, albeit cautiously, Saudi Arabia seems to be adamant in its rejection of such moves.

READ: New winds are blowing in Turkey and the Arab world

Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaTurkey
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