Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Erdogan Visits Saudi Arabia After Transferring Khashoggi Case

Erdogan Visits Saudi Arabia After Transferring Khashoggi Case
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, announces members of his cabinet during a news conference at the Presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey. Photographer: Arif Akdogan/Bloomberg

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, marking a turnaround in relations that hit a low following the 2018 murder of a prominent Saudi critic at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. 

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been working on a rapprochement for months, part of a broader realignment that’s seen regional rivals heal rifts and step back from conflicts since President Joe Biden took office.

Turkey last week ended its trial over the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and transferred the case to Saudi Arabia, removing a key obstacle to improved ties before Erdogan’s visit.

Trade Trumps Tension for UAE as Dubai Leads Gulf Reset

The trip to Saudi Arabia is part of a broader effort to mend relations with Persian Gulf countries after years of hostility fuelled by Erdogan’s support for Islamist groups in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

Erdogan’s office did not say whether he would meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose reputation was tarnished by the murder, carried out by Saudi agents. A US intelligence assessment concluded that he had likely ordered the operation. The prince has denied any involvement, though he’s said he accepts responsibility for the killing as Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

“Turkey and Saudi Arabia will seek to develop all aspects of relations between the two countries during the visit and exchange views on regional and international issues,” Erdogan’s office said in a statement.

Turkey Transfers Khashoggi Case to Saudi Arabia to Improve Ties

Erdogan’s also looking to bolster trade and lure investment from oil exporters as Turkey’s own floundering economy costs him support with the approach of the 2023 elections.

A warming of relations with the United Arab Emirates last year has already unlocked billions of dollars’ worth of potential business.

Read More: Gulf Reaches Out to Erdogan in Wary Move to Ease Tensions

The UAE signed a $4,9 billion currency swap with Turkey in January, offering Turkey’s beleaguered currency much-needed support. The Emirates have outlined plans for a $10 billion fund to support investments as it seeks to at least double bilateral trade.

Erdogan will be looking for similar gains from a reinvigorated relationship with Saudi Arabia. BM



Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

[%% img-description %%]

The Spy Bill: An autocratic roadmap to State Capture 2.0

Join Heidi Swart in conversation with Anton Harber and Marianne Merten as they discuss a concerning push to pass a controversial “Spy Bill” into law by May 2024. Tues 5 Dec at 12pm, live, online and free of charge.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options