GUVSAM (Istinye University Application and Research Center for Security and Defense) recently held a panel with the university’s Economics and Politics Research Center (EPAM), in which the recent events involving Saudi Arabia and Jamal Khashoggi were discussed.

Idris Kardas, the coordinator for EPAM and the moderator for the evening, spoke about how the domestic and international media were still blind to the facts surrounding the incident and Saudi Arabia’s practices when it comes to political assassinations. He mentioned how tens of people were killed and/or lost in the last year alone, and that how we became so focused on the Khashoggi case simply because this horrendous act took place in Istanbul.

Mr. Kardas further spoke about Turkey’s efforts to bring the details of the murder into the open, and Saudi Arabia’s often conflicting responses towards the charges placed on the royal family as well as the simple facts regarding the case.

GUVSAM president Ismail Safi took the debate a few steps further and alleged that Saudi officials were paying large sums of hush money to other countries in order to derail the investigation and to prevent the incident to be featured in the media. He said that Turkey was potentially among the countries that the Saudi offered money to, but also that, Turkey was not a country that would fall for such a trick.

Mr. Safi also criticized USA and the West’s approach to the incident: “These countries may be looking to find a middle way out of this mess, so the whole tragedy does not affect their relations with Saudi Arabia.” He went on to contrast Turkey’s position which was resolute from the get-go: “Turkey has been saying from day one that they would investigate this murder thoroughly with all the available sources at their disposal whether it be via the law enforcement or intelligence agencies.”

“In fact,” he said, “if it weren’t for Turkey’s unwavering efforts to follow up, the world would probably be blindsided by the whole thing.”