Pro-gov’t columnist pens open letter to Saudi king calling for justice in Khashoggi killing

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak columnist Yasi Aktay on Monday wrote an open letter to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, calling on the leader to deliver justice in the killing of Saudi dissident journalist and reconsider the decision to execute Islamic scholars after Ramadan.

In a column titled ‘’An open letter to Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz,’’ Aktay said shedding light on the ‘’cruel and savage’’ of the former Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi will only ‘’revive’’ those involved.

‘’It is a necessity of justice to find and punish whoever killed him or had him killed,’’ Aktay wrote, stressing that Turkey has not acted against the Kingdom and only wishes to shed light on the murder.

Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. 

Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi was killed by a 15-man Saudi squad sent from the kingdom. Saudi authorities say the men acted without authority. Riyadh has said 11 men have been indicted for the killing, but has not named them. The journalist’s body has still not been found.

The Yeni Şafak columnist also touched on reports that the Kingdom is preparing to execute three moderate Islamic scholars following the holy month of Ramadan.

Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari  will be convicted of terrorism charges and executed after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan concludes next month, according to multiple news outlets that have cited the government officials and the scholars’ family members. 

Aktay underlined that ‘’killing a scholar is like killing a prophet,’’ according to Islamic teachings, and referred specifically to the case of Salman al-Awdah, who he said ‘’does not bear a grain of the extravagance you attributed to him.’’

Al-Awdah is a ‘’logical Islamic scholar who has made Islam appealing to youth and modern-day people,’’ Aktay wrote.

Referring to the Saudi King with his title of ‘’the guardian of Islam’s two holy cities,’’ Aktay underlined Turkey is not an enemy of Saudi Arabia and said Turkey’s claim to the matters of the Muslim world should not trouble the Kingdom.

Aktay called on the Kingdom to lay claim to the causes Turkey has taken on and work together to solve the problems of the Muslim world.

‘’May God grant you success in all your endeavours that comply with His approval and bless you with a long life,’’ the letter concluded.