Friday, 14 December, 2018

Erdogan adviser Aktay says missing Saudi journalist killed in Istanbul consulate

Murder at consulate? Turks say dissident journalist killed at Saudi diplo building A demonstrator holds up a poster of missing dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul
Kenny Thornton | 09 October, 2018, 19:02

Turkey sought permission Monday from Saudi Arabia to search Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul, looking for clues to the disappearance of a Saudi Arabian journalist whom Turkish officials have concluded was murdered inside the diplomatic outpost.

On September 28, he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get marriage documents related to his planned marriage to his fiancé, a Turkish citizen, Hatice (Khadija) Cengiz.

"His friends had warned him, 'Don't go there, it is not safe, ' but he said they could not do anything to him in Turkey", said Aktay.

Khashoggi, a progressive journalist who left Saudi Arabia past year, is feared dead by Turkish authorities, who claim he never left the consulate after going in last Tuesday on an administrative errand. His disappearance has sparked global concerns, particularly after Turkish sources said over the weekend that authorities believed he had been killed inside the consulate. The ministry did not say when the premises would be searched. I don't like hearing about it. Mr Khashoggi, 59, has more than 1.6 million Twitter followers and has written for the Washington Post opinion section.

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

"The official strongly denounced these baseless allegations, and expressed his doubt that they came from Turkish officials that are informed of the investigation or are authorized to comment on the issue", the statement read.

Stating that he does not call himself "an opposition" to Saudi Arabia, he said: "I always say I'm just a writer, I want a free environment to write and speak my mind". "We are not in a position to confirm these reports, but we are following them closely", the offcial said.

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Saudi Arabia's consul-general told Reuters earlier on Saturday that his country was helping search for Khashoggi, and dismissed talk of his possible abduction. And hopefully that will sort itself out. She and Turkish officials say he never emerged, even though Saudi Arabia insists he left the building.

But Khashoggi's fiancée is reportedly holding out hope, tweeting in Arabic late Saturday and translated by the Middle East Eye, "Jamal was not killed, and I don't believe that he was killed", the fiancée said. The private Turkish broadcaster, NTV, reported on Monday that police had requested access to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi, a Saudi writer and critic of the kingdom's leadership, was last seen entering the consulate in Istanbul's Levent district on October 2, when he arrived to retrieve an administrative document.

"We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation", Pompeo said in a statement.

"What we do care about is Jamal's well-being and revealing the truth about what occurred", the ambassador said.

Recall that in June of previous year, several Arab states - including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE) - broke relations with Qatar and imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar.

"If this is true - that the Saudis lured a USA resident into their consulate and murdered him - it should represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia", he tweeted Sunday.

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