Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Turkey probes whether journalist was murdered in Saudi Consulate

Turkey believes Saudi journalist was killed in consulate 'US should demand answers from Saudi Arabia about disappearance, alleged killing of journalist'
Steven Clarke | 08 October, 2018, 20:29

File: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a rally in Istanbul on September 5, 2010.

The Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt said in a statement: "If the reports of Jamal's murder are true, it is a monstrous and unfathomable act".

"We hope to have results very quickly", he added.

A Turkish official separately told The Associated Press that authorities believe Jamal Khashoggi was slain at the Saudi Consulate, while another said it was a "high probability". Saudi Arabia denies what it says are "baseless" allegations.

Two days before entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey, Jamal Khashoggi appeared at Middle East Monitor's conference on the legacy of the Oslo Accords in London.

"The entries and exits from the consulate are. all being investigated now and being followed and all departures and arrivals from the airport are all being followed and our police force is controlling them and at the same time various units of our police chasing it", he said.

The 59-year-old journalist, who once served as an adviser to former officials of the Saudi regime, entered the consulate to get documents for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee.

But two Turkish sources told Reuters they believed Khashoggi was deliberately killed inside the consulate.

Khashoggi is a well-known critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also widely known as MBS) and his reform program, as well as the kingdom's policies toward Qatar and the war in Yemen.

Better Things Around The Corner For Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool
Liverpool have faced Spurs, Chelsea and City in three of their past four league games, winning one and drawing two. In the end, however, the teams finished just as they started, playing to a 0-0 draw to split the points.

Commenting for the first time on the matter, Erdogan told reporters: "I am following the issue, and we will inform the world of the outcome of the official probe, which was launched on Saturday". Saudi Arabia and other members of the anti-terror quartet (UAE, Bahrain and Egypt) have cut off relations and imposed a boycott of Qatar since previous year, accusing the Gulf nation of supporting terror and meddling in internal affairs.

In a dramatic twist of fate, Khashoggi disappeared on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, after visiting his country's consulate in Istanbul and may have been killed there.

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. "We have nothing to hide", Prince Salman said in an interview published on Friday. Saudi authorities have called the charges "baseless".

Speaking to CNN Turk, Aktay said that Khashoggi's friends had told him to not go to the Saudi embassy and that the consulate was "not safe".

Now Turkish authorities are saying there is evidence to suggest the journalist never left the building and was murdered there. They said their investigators had "concrete proof" of the killing, which, they said, was carried out by a 15-person Saudi team who arrived in the country last week.

As a contributor to the Washington Post, Khashoggi has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.

Noting that President Donald Trump has treated Prince Mohammed as a "favored ally", the newspaper said the kingdom now should reciprocate with information about Khashoggi's whereabouts.

At least one American lawmaker, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy, said on Twitter, "If this is true - that the Saudis lured a United States resident into their consulate and murdered him - it should represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia".

His disappearance is likely to further deepen divisions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

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