Turkey accuses Saudi Arabia of abducting Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia opens embassy doors to journalists
An official source at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul responded Sunday to reports that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed.
The source denied a report by Turkish sources that it believed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, according to Reuters.
The source questioned that “these statements are not issued by Turkish officials who are familiar or authorized to declare the subject.”
The source revealed that: a security delegation composed of Saudi investigators arrived Saturday to Istanbul at the request of the Saudi side and the consent of the Turkish side brotherly to participate in the investigations into the disappearance of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi.
Reuters said Turkish security believed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed at the Saudi consulate.
Reuters quoted an official Turkish source as saying:
The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr. Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
We believe that the murder was deliberate and that the body was taken out of the consulate.
Khashoggi is a former Saudi journalist who was the editor-in-chief of Saudi daily Al-Watan. He also served as adviser to Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former ambassador to Washington, but left the country after Prince Mohammed bin Salman became the crown prince.
at the same time, The Saudi Consul in Istanbul opened it’s mission headquarters on Saturday in an effort to explain that the well-known Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared four days ago, is not in the consulate’s headquarters and said that his abduction Allegations was baseless.
Reuters reporters toured the six-storey consulate in Istanbul, which Khashoggi entered on Tuesday to obtain documents for his next marriage. His fiancée, who was waiting outside, said he did not leave the consulate, Reuters said.
Turkish officials said they believed he was still inside the consulate and Ankara said on Saturday the prosecutor had opened an investigation into his disappearance. Saudi Arabia said Khashoggi left the consulate on Tuesday after completing his papers.
“I would like to confirm that Jamal is not in the consulate or in Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and embassy are making efforts to look for him and we are concerned about this issue,” Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi said during an interview at the consulate.
Khashoggi has lived in exile in Washington over the past year for fear of retaliation for criticizing Saudi policies, including the war in Yemen and the crackdown on dissidents who have seen scores of people arrested.
Saudi human rights groups have called for an explanation of Khashoggi’s whereabouts and urged Human Rights Watch to expand its investigation into the case and said in a statement Saudi Arabia had arrested Khashoggi without acknowledging his arrest as “enforced disappearance”.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Friday Saudi authorities would allow Turkey to inspect the consulate, but Turkish officials had not yet entered the headquarters.
Al-Otaibi said Khashoggi had no legal charges at the consulate and allowed Reuters to roam the building to show them that the disappeared journalist was not at the headquarters.
The Consul toured the six-storey building, including the Mosque in the garage, offices, visa windows, kitchens, latrines, storage and security rooms, file cabinets and even wood panels covering air conditioning units.
Al-Otaibi said the consulate was equipped with cameras but did not record any footage, so it was not possible to extract pictures of Khashoggi enter or leave the consulate, which is surrounded by police barriers and surrounded by security fences topped by barbed wire.
The building has two entrances, one in the front and the other in the back. Al-Otaibi said Khashoggi may have left either.
“If those who mention that he was abducted focus on his presence in the building, these are mere rumors that have no evidence or facts.
He added: Unfortunately, we regret some of the statements made. Some statements by Turkish officials that insist on the presence of citizens inside the consulate and that they build this talk to talk through people without any based on facts.
A spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said on Saturday that Ankara would disclose details of Khashoggi’s disappearance and where he said the issue was too sensitive for Turkey.
Relations between the two countries are already strained after Turkey sent troops to Qatar last year to demonstrate support after Doha boycotted its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia.
“There is now a connection between the competent authorities of Turkey and the competent authorities in the Kingdom, so let us leave time and opportunity between the two sides and show the results,” he said.
“I think that the abduction of a Saudi citizen by a diplomatic mission is something that is supposed to be presented to the media,” he said, adding that the idea that Khashoggi might have been kidnapped at the consulate was “disgusting.”
Khashoggi is a familiar face in political talk shows on Arab satellite channels. He was once adviser to Prince Turki al-Faisal, former head of Saudi intelligence and former Saudi ambassador to the United States and Britain.
Over the past year, Khashoggi has written opinions Criticizing Saudi’s policies on Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen and the campaign against opposition at home, where dozens have been detained.