Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on June 22 met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his visit to Turkey for the first time since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi press presented the meeting with a photo of Erdoğan looking down next to Prince Salman.
The state news agency SPA shared a series of photographs and said "His Excellency and the President are having a bilateral meeting at the Presidential Complex," the daily BirGün reported.
AlRiyadh from the Saudi press also shared the meeting with the same photo.
بيان سعودي - تركي: مباحثات #ولي_العهد مع الرئيس #التركي سادتها روح المودة والإخاء، وجسدت عمق العلاقات المتميزة بين #المملكة العربية #السعودية و #تركياhttps://t.co/zm5jDs1nZ7#ولي_العهد_في_تركيا pic.twitter.com/fuSFbAaIxV— جريدة الرياض (@AlRiyadh) June 22, 2022
Arab News used the photo in its news titled "Better days ahead for Turkish-Saudi ties."
#PHOTOS: #Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and #Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks at the Presidential Complex in Ankara on Wednesday https://t.co/ZyG5kN4fjP pic.twitter.com/bddld7HXyq— Arab News (@arabnews) June 22, 2022
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel similarly shared the relevant photo and asked, “Why didn't you share these photos shared by the Saudi Agency, Erdoğan?”
“You cannot hide the fact that you are in an unexplainable, objectionable, and inconvenient situation,” Özel said on Twitter on June 23, addressing Erdoğan.
Tayyip Erdoğan, evladına sarılmadığı gibi sarıldığı Veliaht Prens Selman'ı Esenboğa Havalimanı'na kadar uğurlamış.— Özgür Özel (@eczozgurozel) June 23, 2022
Soru şu; Suudi Ajansı'nın paylaştığı bu fotoğrafları sen niye paylaşmadın Erdoğan?
İzahı güç, tepki çekecek, mahsurlu bir işin içinde olduğunu gizleyemezsin. pic.twitter.com/ks6cej06E5
In April, Erdoğan held one-on-one talks with Prince Mohammed in Saudi Arabia after a months-long drive to mend relations between the regional powers, including dropping the Turkish trial over Saudi journalist Khashoggi's 2018 murder in Istanbul.
Ties between Ankara and Riyadh took a turn for the worse after a Saudi hit squad killed and dismembered Khashoggi in 2018 at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Erdoğan at the time blamed it on the "highest levels" of the Saudi government.
The June 22 visit, including the welcoming ceremony at the palace, marks a turnaround in their relations. Ankara stopped all criticism and halted its murder trial in April, transferring the case to Riyadh in a move condemned by human rights groups.
The visit also comes as Turkey's economy is badly strained by a slumping lira and inflation soaring beyond 70%. Saudi funds and foreign currency could help Erdoğan shore up support ahead of elections by June 2023, analysts say.