Effectively casting all international eyes off its own abuse of real journalists while asserting its own hegemony in the region…
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Nick Paton Walsh articulated it well: “The role [Turkey has] taken is not that of the virtuous prosecutor, but of the exploitative politician,” he wrote on October 18 about Ankara’s handling of, what at the time was considered the disappearance of Saudi journalist and insider Jamal Khashoggi. Why do we still know so little, he asked at the time, before Saudi Arabia had admitted to the murder. “The slow, purposeful, yet absolutely deliberate series of leaks to the media of evidence pointing towards the involvement of the Saudi Crown Prince and his immediate entourage has been disrespectful to the cause of justice itself, let alone to Khashoggi’s grieving relatives.” The BBC’s Mark Lowen identified the trend even earlier on October 10. “drip-feeding leaks on Khashoggi to pro-govt media: pics of 15 alleged members of Saudi hit squad, CCTV showing them arriving in Istanbul, checking into hotels near Saudi consulate, vehicles going from consulate to CG residence, jets leaving. Doesn’t look good for Saudis.” Deborah Amos at NPR also noted it on October 12.
Many have now come to understand that there is a strategy to the method by which leaks have been made in Turkey. Western media and commentators have gone from hanging on every outrage over the murder to wondering whether the various stories of “tapes” and other details will actually materialize. Yet they continue to stay tuned for every juicy detail. On October 23 when SkyNews suddenly claimed a body had been found many people who should know better began tweeting.