Tensions have been gradually building up between Turkey and Saudi Arabia as president Erdoğan called Saudi authorities to disclose the location of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who had been murdered within the Saudi Consulate premises in İstanbul.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel El Jubeir, on the other hand, announced that they refused to extradite the two Saudi suspects for whom Turkey had issued warrants and argues that Turkey did not inform Saudi authorities in legal format.
Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council announced its support to Saudi government regarding the Khashoggi incident. The League of Arab States and Jorden had already given support to Saudi Arabia in October. The issue seems to be centered at the governing career of the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Bin Salman has been de facto governing the country but the King Salman bin Abdulaziz still bears the royal crown. Internationally, the intervention to the Yemeni civil war and alliance with the gulf countries and US against Iran at the region are at stake.
Following the ECHR’s decision condemning Turkey and demanding immediate release of Selahattin Demirtaş, the Turkish government has taken precautions legally overruling the court’s decision. The appeal court had approved a minor decision of the local court that resulted in keeping Demirtaş in prison. The local court had also refused the legal petition for the release of Demirtaş. Last week, on 4th of December, the appeal court had approved the rulings of a separate case against not only Demirtaş but also former PDP MPs Sırrı Süreyya Önder and İdris Baluken. Baluken had been sentenced to 16 years and 8 months of prison in January 2018 and has been since in prison. Önder was sentenced 3 years and 6 months and he went to prison last week.
The public prosecutors has been busy for the last few weeks in investigating the Gezi Protests of 2013. On 16th of November with a police raid, 13 were detained, among which were the dean of the Law School of İstanbul Bilgi University, Prof.Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı, a well known movie producer and intellectual, Çiğdem Mater and Prof.Dr. Betül Tanbay of Department of Mathematics of Boğaziçi University. The next day 12 of the 13 detained had been released under the condition banning them to leave the country as well as judicial control and one, Yiğit Aksakoğlu had been arrested.
The charges against the detainees were organizing and coordinating the Gezi Park protests in order to topple and/or totally or partially disrupt the functioning of the government. Last week on Wednesday a warrant of arrest was issued for the actor Mehmet Ali Alabora who had been active during the Gezi Protests. The charges were same and he was alleged to work in coordination with Osman Kavala.