A security member of the Saudi Arabian consulate close police barriers after a diplomatic vehicle arrives on October 17, 2018 at the consulate in Istanbul. AFP / OZAN KOSE
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Turkey is seeking to strike a fine balance in the controversy over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, aware that the aftermath could boost its economy and diplomatic hand but prove highly damaging if the case is mishandled. The probe strikes at the heart of one of Turkey's most sensitive diplomatic relationships, with its ties to fellow Sunni heavyweight Saudi Arabia marked by public politeness and deep economic links but also years of rivalry and diverging interests.Analysts say that Erdogan is mindful of not provoking Riyadh, at a time when the fragile Turkish economy is in need of all the economic support it can get after the lira slumped this summer.According to official Turkish data, almost 586,000 Saudi citizens visited Turkey up to the end of August this year, up from around 373,000 in 2016 . Erdogan has had a complex relationship with Riyadh in the last years that has swung from turbulence to calm and back, but always with a veneer of public respect.
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