Turki II bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
|Turki bin Abdulaziz|
|Deputy Minister of Defense and Aviation|
|in office||July 1969–1978|
|Successor||Abdul Rahman bin Abdulaziz|
|Turki bin Abdulaziz bin Abdullrahman Al Saud|
|House||House of Saud|
|Mother||Hassa Al Sudairi|
|Born||1934 (age 79–80)|
Early life and education
Prince Turki was born in 1934. He is a member of the Sudairi Seven, a powerful faction of brothers within the Al Saud. His parents are King Abdulaziz and Hassa Al Sudairi. He is known as "the second" (الثاني ath-thānī) because he is the second son born to King Abdulaziz named "Turki". The first Prince Turki was Abdulaziz's first son who died in 1919 due to Spanish flu.
Prince Turki studied at the princes school established by King Abdulaziz to educate his children.
Turki bin Abdulaziz assumed Riyadh principality delegation on 10 October 1957, because Prince Salman, then-Riyadh governor, travelled with King Saud to Lebanon. In 1960, the approval of the King was issued to assign Prince Turki as the governor of Riyadh Province in the period of the formal vacation of Prince Salman. Turki bin Abdulaziz was appointed the deputy defense minister in July 1969 by a royal order. His tenure lasted for nine years and he was forced to resign from office due to his marriage in 1978.
After a falling-out with other princes or joining to free princes, Turki bin Abdulaziz moved to Cairo and lived there in self-imposed exile for a while. However, other research on the Free Princes Movement does not mention his name as part of this group. His self-exile in Cairo occurred as a result of intra-family dispute due to his marriage to Hind Al Fassi (See also below and Personal life section).
In February 1982, Turki bin Abdulaziz and his family, while living in Miami, were accused of holding an Egyptian servant against her will. Officers from the Metro Dade Police Department (MDPD) searched his apartment with a warrant but failed to find the woman. However, the police encountered fierce resistance from Prince Turki's bodyguards. He eventually sued the MDPD for $210 million, who launched a countersuit of their own. The State Department granted him diplomatic immunity in April 1982 and the lawsuit was dropped in June 1982.
In a letter published by Wagze news agency in July 2010, Prince Turki is reported to warn Saudi Arabia's ruling family of a fate similar to that of Iraq's executed dictator Saddam Hussein and the ousted Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, calling on them to escape before people "cut off our heads in streets." He argued that the Saudi royal family is no longer able to "impose" itself on people, arguing that deviations in carrying out the religious concepts that make up the basis of the Saudi government "have gotten out of our hands," so that the opposition views our acts as "interfering in people's private life and restricting their liberties." He further urged "Do it today before tomorrow as long as the money we have is enough for us to live anywhere in the world; from Switzerland to Canada and Australia…we should not return as long as we are able to get out safely, we must take our families quickly and pull out.", continuing "Do not fool yourself by relying on the United States or Britain or Israel, because they will not survive the loss; the only door open is now the exit door of no return. Let us go before it closes." He finally warned against a military coup against the ruling family, saying "no one will attack us from outside but our armed forces will attack us." However, later Turki bin Abdulaziz told Saudi Press Agency that the alleged letter to him circulated by some media and internet sites was nonexistent and fabricated by enemy parties wishing to spread confusion and excitement.
Another controversy he experienced was about the death of his wife Hind al Fassi in August 2010. Her brother Allal al Fassi accused his brother-in-law, Prince Turki as well as his nephew and niece of killing his sister with a drug overdose. He submitted a report to the general attorney and then, disappeared for 24 hours and reappeared after the medical report proved that there was nothing wrong in her system, leading to the withdrawal of all his accusations to his brother in law. On the other hand, Prince Turki's son, Abdul Rahman, sued his uncle Allal al Fassi claiming that he beat him and his father in the hospital where his mother died.
During the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Prince Turki argued in a press conference that the United Nations' embargo was not enough to drive the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. For him, military action was required to achieve it.
After returning to Saudi Arabia in 2011, Prince Turki fully supported the appointments of his younger brothers, late Prince Nayef and Prince Salman. He argued in October 2011 that the decision to appoint late Prince Nayef as Crown Prince was totally right and that Prince Nayef had wisdom, sound management and long history in serving the country.
His second wife was Hind Al Fassi, a member of the Saudi Arabian al-Fassi family and daughter of Sheikh Shams ed-din Al Fassi, a Sufi religious leader from the Shadhili order, and grandson of Moroccan Sufi Imam al-Fassi, who had settled in Mecca in the late 18th-century. Turki bin Abdulaziz sacrificed his position as deputy defense minister and moved from the Kingdom into a self exile because he refused to divorce her in late 1970s. They met when her father Sheikh Al Fassi was arrested for leading a Sufi movement in the Kingdom. She asked Prince Turki's help for her father's release. Later, Prince Turki married her although his family did not endorse this marriage. Therefore, he lost not only his position but also his candicacy for the Saudi throne. Later, he and his wife went to Egypt in the late 1970s and never returned to Saudi Arabia. She died in 2010 in Cairo at the age of 57. After her death, Prince Turki returned to Saudi Arabia.
Prince Turki has four sons from his first marriage, Prince Khalid (born December 1957), Prince Sultan (born May 1968), Prince Faisal (born January 1965) and Prince Fahd (born August 1959). In 1975, Prince Turki's elder sons took $1.1 million loan from the US Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) to finance their business in relation to rice mills in Saudi Arabia.
One of Prince Turki's daughters is married to Khalid bin Sultan. His son, Sultan bin Turki, was "kidnapped" in Geneva and placed under house arrest in Riyadh in 2004 after he spoke out in favor of reform in Saudi Arabia. Another son, Faisal bin Turki, is an adviser at the ministry of petroleum and natural resources.
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