Prince Turki studied at The Lawrenceville School, the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in the class of 1968 (where he was a classmate of Bill Clinton), and at Princeton, Cambridge, and the University of London, where he studied Islamic law and jurisprudence.
Turki began his political career as deputy to his uncle, Kamal Adham, and then, his successor as the head of Saudi Arabia's Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah (General Intelligence Directorate), a position he held for 25 years—from 1977 until shortly before the Sept 11th attacks. In this position, he had an important role in the military operation to remove the terrorists who had taken hostages in the Masjid al-Haram (Sacred Mosque) at Mecca in November–December of 1979. He was replaced shortly after 9/11 by his uncle, Prince Nawaf.
In 1993, Turki helped mediate between warring factions in Afghanistan. In 2002, Turki was named ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland. In July 2005 it was announced that he would succeed Bandar bin Sultan as Saudi ambassador to the United States. He was replaced as ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland by his cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
He is married to Princess Nouf bint Fahd bin Khalid Al Saud, with whom he has six children: Faisal, Nura, Abdul Aziz, Saud, Mishail and Mudhi.
Turki's relationship with bin Laden and al-Qaeda after bin Laden became an official enemy of Saudi Arabia and lost his Saudi citizenship is unclear. A continued connection to bin Laden was claimed in an article by Paris Match magazine. In 2002, Turki was named in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit by the families of September 11 victims, alleging that he and other Saudi princes, banks, and charities may have funded the terrorists involved in the attack. His involvement was also strongly implied in the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 911. A reporter for the Baltimore Chronicle claimed he was flown out of the United States shortly after the terrorist attacks, but the claim disappeared from later versions of the article.
Turki maintains that he has had no contact with bin Laden since shortly after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. He claims to have secretly negotiated with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in 1998 in an attempt to have bin Laden extradited to Saudi Arabia, but the negotiations were unsuccessful. In a November 2001 interview, Turki expressed support for the US operation in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In December 2004, Turki was awarded libel damages from Paris Match for its claims that he was connected to the attacks. In 2005, a US federal judge ruled that Saudi officials including Turki were immune from the lawsuit. Turki has severely criticized al-Qaeda, calling it an "evil cult."00000
According to an analysis by Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large for United Press International, "Turki's abrupt exit from Washington, without the usual round of diplomatic farewells, was bound to send the rumor mill into overdrive. Which is precisely what Turki intended."
Turki strongly advocated that the United States engage in direct talks with Iran over its differences concerning Iran's involvement in Iraq, its nuclear program and support of Hezbollah in Lebanon, but other high-ranking Saudi officials, including Turki's predecessor as ambassador, Prince Bandar, were in favor of a tougher stance, believing that, ultimately, military action would probably be required to set back Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.
Turki was angered that when his own king had asked Vice President Dick Cheney to meet at short notice in Riyadh, Turki was not invited to attend — an unusual omission for Saudi summit meetings. In addition, Turki's brother — the ailing, longtime Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, (born 1940) — did not write the post-summit briefing for Turki; Prince Bandar did.
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE TURKI AL-FAISAL CONFIRMED FOR EMPLOYEES OF MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS NEED TO COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE.
Mar 29, 2010; RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- The following information was released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:...