Saudis to Turkey: Search our consulate for missing WaPo columnist, dissenter

11 October, 2018, 14:44 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Saudi consulate in Istanbul Turkey

Turkey says it will conduct a search of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul over the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pictures of Saudi journalist Khashoggi are placed on security barriers during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 8, 2018.

A spokesman for Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Saudi officials have relayed to Ankara that they were "open to cooperation" and would allow the consulate to be searched.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called on Saudi Arabia to investigate the unusual disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose case has sparked worldwide outcry over the extent of the kingdom's crackdown on dissent.

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.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said if Saudi Arabia had lured a US resident into a consulate and killed him, "it's time for the United States to rethink our military, political and economic relationship with Saudi Arabia".

A man then came to the entrance and told her, "There's no one inside".

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.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since he entered the consulate on October 2.

"We have nothing to hide", the prince said, claiming that the journalist exited the building "after a few minutes or one hour".

The BBC published on Monday an off-air conversation of last interview with disappeared Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Erdogan pointed out that "security and intelligence officials are investigating Khashoggi's case, and the prosecution is checking up the records of the arrival and departure of Saudi citizens from Istanbul airport".


The State Department said today it's still trying to sort out what happened to a missing Saudi journalist who had been living in exile in America for a year due to his high-profile criticism of the kingdom's rulers.

According to diplomatic sources, a diplomatic note was sent to the Turkish Foreign Ministry inviting Turkish officials to visit the consulate.

However, a Saudi official is saying that the Turkish accusations are "baseless" and that a team of Saudi investigators will take part in the investigation.

Khashoggi, 59, who was once close to the Saudi royal family and has served as an adviser for senior Saudi officials, left the country past year to live in the USA in self-imposed exile, saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent. He has written multiple columns recently in The Washington Post where he criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Washington Post released on Tuesday what appears to be the last-known photograph of Khashoggi, walking into the Saudi consulate from which he apparently never left.

CNN reports that 15 Saudi nationals visited the consulate the same day as Khashoggi and have since left the country.

The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey has always been contentious.

But what about the US alliance with Saudi Arabia?

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and U.S. resident, had written articles critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia may have agreed to the search in order to reassure its Western allies and the global community.

"Right now nobody knows anything about it".

The disappearance of the prominent critic of the Saudi regime, which comes at a time of strained relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, could cause a diplomatic crisis.

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