Istanbul, November 13: The Turkish government on Monday insisted it had shared with a French intelligence agency the audio recordings and transcripts related to the killing of a Saudi Arabian journalist in his country's consulate in Istanbul last month. The assertion came after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview Monday that he had no knowledge of Turkey sharing audio of Jamal Khashoggi's killing, and accused Turkey of playing a political game with the journalist's death, Efe reported.
A spokesperson for the Turkish presidency told EFE that "On October 24, a representative of the French intelligence listened to the audio record and received detailed information about it, including a transcript of this recording." Also Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said France may be trying to cover up Khashoggi's murder to protect its economic interests in Saudi Arabia. Reports Say Gruesome Audio Recordings Prove Jamal Khashoggi was Tortured, Murdered in Saudi Consulate.
"No one should be surprised if soon they begin to deny the murder, which even Saudi Arabia accepted," Cavusoglu said. "Damn money! Keep a close eye on who is closing what kind of deals lately," the foreign minister added. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that his country's intelligence services had listened to audio recordings of Khashoggi's death. The diplomatic spat comes two days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government had previously shared the recordings with Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
Although Saudi Arabia initially claimed Khashoggi left the consulate alive on October 2, the Arab kingdom reversed course on Oct. 19 and claimed he had been "accidently" killed in a fistfight inside the diplomatic mission, but said it was the work of a rogue Saudi intelligence team. Since Khashoggi's disappearance, Turkish authorities have released a steady drip of information from anonymous official sources to keep the story in the media spotlight and to pressure its regional rival.