If it happened to another Muslim country, we perhaps would not have been this upset. When the U.S. president insulted Saudi Arabia’s king before the eyes of the whole world, it led to a feeling of shame, fury, and mutiny in us all.
This is the way it has to be, because we perform our prayers every day in the direction of that country. Our holy prophet is buried in that country. Under these circumstances, we felt like it was not only Saudi Arabia's king being insulted, but someone who also represents Muslims.
This person declares himself as the "servant" of Mecca and Medina (Khadim al-Haramayn al-Sharif), the two places sacred to us all. U.S. President Donald Trump cannot even insult the garbage man of Mecca and Medina, but he insulted the country's king in front of all our eyes. And he did not say anything.
A consulate or crime scene?
When I arrived in front of Saudi Arabia's Istanbul Consulate General, my anger toward the Saudi administrators who did not, who could not say a word against this insult, was still fresh. Now, our anger, our fury has doubled due to another incident.
This consulate, which is surrounded with iron bars, is now being accused of being a crime scene. Journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after leaving his fiancé outside and entering this building in Istanbul's Levent district.
Turan Kışlakçı, head of the Turk-Arab Media Association, a friend of mine who has been following the matter since Khashoggi's disappearance, gave horrific information to the public. I talk to Kışlakçı and his assistant Fatih Öke on a daily basis. Every day, my surprise, my anger and hatred intensify a little more. Because, if what is said is true, this building is a crime scene, like a slaughterhouse, where people are cut up and packaged.
Security forces have certain information that Khashoggi was killed, which strongly dominated the world public through foreign media. Since that day, this building, which I look at in anger now, is the media’s focus of attention. There are hundreds of journalists, writers and activists in front of it.
A horrific attack on Turkey’s respectability
The correspondents of Western agencies and television channels make announcements and live broadcasts with a surprised expression on their faces: "Yes, it is being claimed that Jamal Khashoggi, who entered this building, was killed by an execution team of 15 from Saudi Arabia and taken away after his body was cut into pieces."
Even the narration of the incident gives off an incredibly terrifying feeling.
The Turkish state perceived this murder as a direct move against its respectability and reputation. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is personally chasing this matter. The prosecution launched an investigation; all security units are working meticulously. There will soon be a search at the consulate. Security forces are also aware that they will not be able to find anything. However, they are required to conduct a search at the scene of the incident in terms of the official investigation.
Meanwhile, Turkey is trying to determine the kind of roadmap it will follow after it announces that the incident is true. In the case that it turns out to be true, there needs to be a very serious and shattering response. Because this is an attack that shatters the Turkish state's reliability, respectability and responsibility toward foreigners in its country.
Turkey will soon be giving a clear explanation of the situation. We are praying that the claims turn out to be false and Khashoggi is alive and safe. Yet, I am afraid there is a very poor chance of this being the case.
What kind of a state is this?
A country committing a crime at its own consulate is something that nobody can fathom. Such a thing is only possible through a terrorist mindset, a mafia mindset. If you remember, Prince Salman had previously gathered the members of the royal family, businessmen, state officials, members of reputable families one night and imprisoned them in a hotel. It was claimed that he tormented them there, forced them to "sign a document" and took over their wealth. That was another case of shame for the Saudi state. It is quite possible for a mindset which did that to commit this murder.
In his Washington Post column, Khashoggi was criticizing such policies of Prince Salman, the future king of Saudi Arabia and currently the sole ruler of the state. He was a friend of Turkey - his family origin also goes back to the Ottomans. He had a home in Turkey and had visited the consulate with his fiancé to get married here.
You already know that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are on the Israel-U.S. line and have a hostile attitude against Turkey. It seems like this murder is an operation to push Turkey into an even tougher position and end relations between the two countries.
Khashoggi was criticizing - even if not harshly - the regime that was causing the deaths of children with the blockade and attacks especially in Yemen, the deaths of civilians with its attitude in Syria, and turning life into hell for its people with its mafia-like attitude in its own country. It appears they could not tolerate even this.
Could our imams offer an Islamic ruling?
The Saudi regime is following a disgraceful policy in every aspect. There has never been any country in the Muslim world that has been as insulted, forced to pay money and literally treated like a slave by the U.S.
It is sad that Mecca and Medina are in this country. And we have to go to this country, which is the disgrace of the Muslim world, for the umrah and Hajj pilgrimages. Maybe we do not have to go. I wonder if our imams could give an Islamic ruling on whether it is obligatory to go to the enslaved holy land for Hajj?