Neo-Ottomanism Surges in Middle East Politics

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in Riyadh

The fate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hangs in the balance. The common perception is that everything depends on which way President Donald Trump moves – go by his own preference to bury the scandal over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance or give in to the rising demand that Saudi-American relations can no longer be business as usual. Trump’s mood swing suggests he is dithering.

Yet, it is Turkey – more precisely, President Recep Erdogan – who is the real arbiter. The Turks have let it be known that they are in possession of materials that expose Khashoggi’s murder. But the official position is that the onus is on the Saudis to prove that Khashoggi left their consulate in Istanbul alive.

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