Erdogan: Saudis must prove missing reporter left consulate

Sergio Conner
October 11, 2018

Khashoggi has been missing since Tuesday when he had an appointment at the Saudi consulate to get papers needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry says authorities will search Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul in connection with the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But the ministry did not provide a timeline when that might happen.

Azzam Tamimi, a friend who had lunch with Khashoggi in London on the day before he went to the consulate in Istanbul, said in an interview Sunday that he had been reassured about entering the consulate by his warm reception on an earlier surprise visit.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, previously a prominent newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and an adviser to its former head of intelligence, has sparked global concern, particularly after Turkish sources said over the weekend that authorities believed he was killed inside the consulate.

Turkey has not issued any proof to back up its claims.

Turkey said on Tuesday it planned to search Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi vanished last week after entering the building to request paperwork.

Crown Prince Mohammed's brother and the Saudi ambassador to the US, Khaled, has insisted all the reports about his disappearance or death "are completely false and baseless".

Mr Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and critic of the Saudi monarchy, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October and has not been seen since.

A surveillance image has surfaced, showing Khashoggi entering the consulate October 2.

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Riyadh and Ankara are locked in competition on "regional leadership, "religious" leadership over the Sunni community and relations with the West, especially with Washington", Jabbour said, adding that they were "each out to get the other".

The door Khashoggi walked in through appeared to be the main entrance of the consulate in Istanbul's 4th Levent neighbourhood, a leafy, upscale district near the city's financial hub that is home to several other consulates.

Yemeni Nobel Prize victor Tawakkol Karman, centre, participates at a demonstration for Khashoggi that was organized by the Turkish-Arabic Media Association in front of the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on Friday. "Hopefully that will sort itself out", the president added.

Khashoggi had fled his homeland in September a year ago and had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States, where he had applied for USA citizenship, Cengiz said. "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying, 'He has left, '" Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest, where he is on an official visit.

Over the past year, he has written columns for newspapers including the Washington Post criticising Saudi policies towards Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen and a crackdown on dissent which has seen dozens of people detained.

US and Saudi officials have yet to comment on that report.

On Sunday, Turkish President Erdogan said that it was very saddening that Khashoggi disappeared in Turkey.

The U.S. State Department and President Donald Trump say they're concerned about the disappearance of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but they have no idea what happened to him.

Saudi Arabia Wasn't Always This Repressive.

Mr Trump told reporters he had talked to the Saudi authorities "at the highest level" about Mr Khashoggi. Right now, nobody knows anything about it, but there's some pretty bad stories going around. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said in a string of tweets Monday that "if there is any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid - economically and otherwise".

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