Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi Arabia lets Turkey search consulate

Cheryl Sanders
October 11, 2018

Khashoggi's disappearance is likely to further deepen divisions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

In his first remarks about the disappearance, President Trump told reporters Monday afternoon that he was concerned. "And hopefully, that will sort itself out", Trump said.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on October 9 invited Turkish experts and relevant officials to visit its Istanbul consulate.

A friend of a prominent Saudi journalist who went missing in Istanbul said Sunday that officials told him to "make your funeral preparations" as the Washington Post contributor "was killed" at the Saudi Consulate. "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying, 'He has left, '" Erdogan said Monday on a visit to Budapest.

The Saudi government, he said, was "fully cooperating" in the Turkish government's investigation. Footage emerged Tuesday showing Khashoggi entering the building the week before.

Turkey says it will conduct a search of the Istanbul consulate, while Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said the country was "open to co-operation" and a search of the building could go ahead.

The Post said "a person close to the investigation" shared the image with them without elaborating.

In a column published Wednesday by the Post, Hatice Cengiz wrote: "I also urge Saudi Arabia, especially King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to show the same level of sensitivity and release CCTV footage from the consulate".

Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia past year saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy over the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent, and since then wrote columns for the Washington Post newspaper.

Several news organizations have cited anonymous Turkish officials claiming that Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated murder inside the consulate; Saudi officials have denied those allegations. Turkish police have told multiple outlets they believe he was murdered on the premises.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has been documenting the increasingly harsh treatment of journalists in Saudi Arabia. That's according to Turkey's state-owned news agency Anadolu.

At the same time, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Saudi Arabia to prove its claim that Khashoggi left the consulate safely.

"We wouldn't normally broadcast an off-air conversation, but we've decided to make an exception, in light of the current circumstances", the British broadcaster said in a note published with the recording.

Politico noted that both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike pence both put out much stronger statements than the president, calling for an investigation and defending the rights of journalists.

President Donald Trump says the U.S.is looking into the fate of a Saudi writer missing and feared murdered but expressed reservations over calls to withhold further USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia, warning that such a move "would be hurting us".

"If the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi is proved, I invite all walks of life in Saudi Arabia to cooperate in a legal measure and change the political system through civil disobedience", Farhan al-Saud wrote on his twitter page on Monday.

Khashoggi, a progressive journalist who left Saudi Arabia previous year, is feared dead by Turkish authorities, who claim he never left the consulate after going in last Tuesday on an administrative errand. Khashoggi, a 59-year-old veteran journalist who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since Prince Mohammed's rise to power, disappeared October 2 while on a visit to the consulate to get paperwork done to be married to his Turkish fiancée.

Other reports by iNewsToday