Saudi Crown Prince Visits Turkey for 1st Time Since Khashoggi’s Killing
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) arrived in Ankara on Wednesday and met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It was the start of his first trip to Turkey since journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018. This is the third stop on MbS’s regional tour, which also includes Egypt and Jordan. Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for The Washington Post and a US resident, was murdered in the consulate in October 2018, in an operation that US intelligence said was ordered by MbS. As a result, the crown prince was widely ostracized by the leaders of other countries, and bilateral ties between Ankara and Riyadh, which were already strained by disagreements on Egypt, Libya, and Syria, hit rock bottom. Turkey, in the midst of a deep economic crisis, is looking to restore ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states and improve its relations with the US, Israel, and other Western countries. Meanwhile, MbS’s tour is an effort to rehabilitate his image beyond the Gulf. In April, a Turkish court transferred to Saudi Arabia the proceedings in a case against Saudi suspects over the killing of Khashoggi, and a week later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with MbS in Saudi Arabia.