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Turkey accused the United States on Wednesday of trying to turn a blind eye to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, and dismissed comments from President Donald Trump on the issue as “comic”. Turkey accused the United States on Wednesday of trying to turn a blind eye to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, and dismissed comments from President Donald Trump on the issue as “comic”.

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.

Numan Kurtulmus, the deputy chairman of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, dismissed Trump’s assessment. “Yesterday’s statement is a comic statement,” he told state broadcaster TRT Haber.

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

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, although it has not directly accused Prince Mohammed.

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.

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