SUN 17 - 2 - 2019
Oct 8, 2018
The Daily Star
Turkey asks permission to search Saudi consulate: NTV
Erdogan: Closely following Khashoggi case
ANKARA: Turkey has asked for permission to search Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing last week following his entrance to the mission, broadcaster NTV said Monday.
Turkish officials told Reuters over the weekend that they believed Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was closely following the case.
A Turkish official also said Saudi Arabia's envoy to Ankara had been summoned to the foreign ministry for a second time on Sunday. "It has been conveyed to him that we expect full coordination in the investigation process," the ministry said.
Khashoggi went to the Saudi consulate on Tuesday to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. Saudi officials say he left shortly afterwards but his fiancee, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.
Two Turkish sources told Reuters Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi was deliberately killed inside the consulate, a view echoed by one of Erdogan's advisers, Yasin Aktay, who is also a friend of the Saudi journalist.
Erdogan told reporters on Sunday that authorities were examining camera footage and airport records as part of their investigation into the disappearance last week of Khashoggi, who had been increasingly critical of Saudi Arabia's rulers.
Erdogan: Closely following Khashoggi case
ANKARA/BEIRUT: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday he was closely following the case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Turkish officials said they believed he had been killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Erdogan told reporters that authorities were examining camera footage and airport records as part of their investigation into the disappearance last week of Khashoggi, who had been increasingly critical of Saudi Arabia’s rulers.
A former newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and adviser to its former head of intelligence, Khashoggi left the country last year saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent.
He entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Tuesday to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. Saudi officials say he left shortly afterward but his fiancee, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.
Two Turkish sources told Reuters Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi was deliberately killed inside the consulate, a view echoed by one of Erdogan’s advisers, Yasin Aktay, who is also a friend of the Saudi journalist. “My sense is that he has been killed ... in the consulate,” Aktay said.
Erdogan said he was personally following the issue, without saying what he believed had happened to Khashoggi. “Entries and exits into the embassy, airport transits and all camera records are being looked at and followed. We want to swiftly get results,” he said, adding without explanation: “My expectation is still positive.”
Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari tweeted Sunday that he believed the allegations of Khashoggi’s murder were a charade and a plot against Saudi Arabia.
“The charade of Khashoggi’s assassination is a conspiracy and an intelligence [services] plot to harm the reputation of Saudi Arabia,” Bukhari tweeted.
Khashoggi’s fiancee could not immediately be contacted but she said in a tweet that there had been no official confirmation of the Turkish sources’ statements. “Jamal was not killed and I do not believe he was killed,” Hatice Cengiz posted.
Police said earlier that around 15 Saudis, including officials, arrived in Istanbul on two flights Tuesday and were at the consulate at the same time as Khashoggi.
“Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day,” the government source told AFP Saturday.Aktay told Reuters that Turkish authorities believed the group of 15 Saudi nationals were “most certainly involved” in his disappearance.
“The Saudis are saying, ‘We can come investigate,’ but they have of course disposed of the body,” he said, adding that he believed Saudi statements about a lack of footage from security cameras were insincere.
Saudi Consul-General Mohammad al-Otaibi told Reuters Saturday that the consulate’s own security cameras showed only a live stream and did not record footage, so they could not provide evidence of Khashoggi’s movements.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said it was alarmed by reports Khashoggi may have been killed inside the consulate.
“The Saudi authorities must immediately give a full and credible accounting of what happened to Khashoggi inside its diplomatic mission,” the CPJ said in a statement.
Khashoggi is a familiar face on political talk shows on Arab satellite television networks and used to advise Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States and Britain.
Over the past year, he has written columns for newspapers including The Washington Post criticizing Saudi policies toward Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen and a crackdown on dissent that has seen dozens of people detained.
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