Turkey to search Saudi Consulate for missing journalist

Turkey to search Saudi Consulate for missing journalist

Turkey to search Saudi Consulate for missing journalist

He wrote columns for the Washington Post and the Guardian.

Turkish police have concluded that prominent Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi mission in Istanbul after going missing Tuesday, October 2 according to an unnamed government official.

While the Turkish authorities seem confident in their assessment that Khashoggi was indeed murdered, the U.S. administration, while exercising abundant discretion and caution, has said that they are monitoring the developments in Turkey and are yet, not in a position to confirm the death.

"This will be a file between Saudi Arabia and us", the Turkish official warned.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegations that it killed 59-year-old Khashoggi "baseless" but has offered no evidence over the past seven days to show that he ever left the building.

That means Turkish police can not enter and search the consulate unless they get permission from the Saudi authorities, which they have now reportedly received.

"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. Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg in an interview Friday that Turkish authority could search their consulate, as they had "nothing to hide".

Saudi Arabia has always been a pillar of USA policy in the Middle East, and while the relationship was rocky during President Obama's tenure, Trump has embraced Riyadh.

While the oil-rich kingdom is spending millions of dollars to paint the crown prince as a reformist moderate, Congress is increasingly concerned over the humanitarian impact of the US-backed Saudi-led war in Yemen while Trump himself has ripped Riyadh amid rising oil prices.

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.

In March, the Senate narrowly failed in a bid to restrict USA support for Saudi Arabia's campaign in Yemen over rights concerns.

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Erdogan's comments were his most direct suggestion yet of potential Saudi culpability in Khashoggi's disappearance. It said Saudi Arabia sent a team of investigators to help look into the case.

Saudi Arabia authorities said they have nothing to do with the journalist's disappearance.

Saudi Arabia has denied involvement. He left the country past year for the United States fearing retribution from the kingdom which has recently witnessed widespread crackdown on dissent.

He said dozens of people had been detained in an apparent crackdown on dissidents under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been pioneering an ambitious economic and social reform program in the country.

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

Trump, who has long criticized the US media, on Monday said he was concerned about reports regarding the journalist and did not "like hearing about it", but that he hoped the situation "will sort itself out".

Earlier reports said Turkish police were focusing on 15 Saudi citizens who came to Turkey on two airplanes on the day of the incident.

What have both countries said?

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Khashoggi was once a Saudi newspaper editor and is a familiar face on political talk shows on Arab satellite television networks.

The source said that after entering the embassy Khashoggi was taken in a black Mercedes S-500 and a white minivan with four Saudi officials to Istanbul airport.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Riyadh must provide "honest answers" about the journalist.

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