(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. - US President Donald Trump said October 11, 2018 he was not yet prepared to limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia over journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, but he faced mounting pressure from concerned American lawmakers. Saudi Arabia is one of the world's largest arms purchasers, with most of them coming from the United States.Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post, vanished more than a week ago during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish government sources say he was murdered there, a claim Riyadh denies. (Photo by MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP)
Agence France-Presse

Turkey has accused the United States of trying to turn a blind eye to the murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul.

Numan Kurtulmus, the Deputy Chairman of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, made the accusation on Wednesday, in Istanbul.

He also described the comments made by President Donald Trump on the issue as “comic”.

“Yesterday’s statement is a comic statement,’’ he told state broadcaster, TRT Haber.

“It is not possible for an intelligence agency such as the CIA, which even knows the colour of the fur on the cat walking around the Saudi consulate’s garden … to not know who gave this order.

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“This is not credible either for U.S. public opinion or the world public opinion,’’ Kurtulmus said.

Trump had vowed on Tuesday to remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia.

He affirmed this despite saying that Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, may have known about the plan to murder Khashoggi.

The murdered journalist was a U.S. resident and Washington Post’s columnist.

Of the possibility, Prince Mohammed had a hand in the murder, Trump said: “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t’’.

His comments contradicted the CIA, which believes Khashoggi’s death was ordered directly by the crown prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

Since Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month, Turkey has repeatedly said the order came from the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

Turkey has, however, not directly accused Prince Mohammed of engaging in the crime.

Saudi Arabia has denied that the crown prince ordered the killing.

After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh said last week Khashoggi had been killed and his body dismembered when “negotiations” to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.

Trump said Saudi Arabia, a major oil producer, was an important business partner and a “great ally” in the fight against Iranian power in the Middle East.

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