Turkey, France exchange barbs over Khashoggi killing


Turkey on Monday blasted the French foreign minister for his remarks accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of playing a "political game" over the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in a television on Monday, denied that Erdoğan had shared information on the murder, adding the Turkish president " has a political game to play in these circumstances."

Le Drian’s statements follow those of the Turkish president on Saturday, saying Ankara had shared recordings linked to Khashoggi’s murder last month with Riyadh, the United States, France, Britain and other allies.

"We find it unacceptable that he accused President Erdogan of 'playing political games'," AFP quoted communications director at the Turkish presidency, Fahrettin Altun, as saying in a written statement. "Let us not forget that this case would have been already covered up had it not been for Turkey's determined efforts."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hit back at his French counterpart as well, saying his words amounted to "impertinence" and were not befitting of the seriousness of a foreign minister."

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday said Canadian intelligence officers have listened to Turkish recordings of what happened to Khashoggi, Reuters reported.

"Canada has been fully briefed up on what Turkey had to share," Trudeau said, noting he had had brief exchanges with Erdoğan over the weekend in Paris during commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Trudeau noted he had heard the recording himself.

Khashoggi, a critic of de facto Saudi ruler Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate last month in a hit which Erdoğan says was ordered at the highest levels of the Saudi government.