Turkey requests Saudi consulate search

The Saudi consulate said Khashoggi left after completing paperwork

The Saudi consulate said Khashoggi left after completing paperwork

Turkey has requested a search of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, after saying that a journalist was murdered within its walls, media reports say.

Missing writer Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi national, was last seen visiting the consulate on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegations baseless.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has previously said officials are welcome to conduct a search as there is nothing to hide.

Turkish officials made the accusation on Sunday. They said their investigators had “concrete proof” of the killing which was carried out by a 15-person Saudi team who arrived in the country last week.

No evidence has been presented.

Mr Khashoggi had been living in the US, where he contributed articles to the Washington Post’s opinion section. The newspaper said the US should demand answers from the Saudis.

“If true, this is a horrific crime, the assassination of a journalist in his own country’s consulate on foreign soil – something without precedent in modern times,” the newspaper wrote on Monday.

 

Jamal Khashoggi went to the consulate last Tuesday to obtain a document certifying he had divorced his ex-wife, so that he could marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

She said Mr Khashoggi had been required to surrender his mobile phone, which is standard practice in some diplomatic missions. He told her to call an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he did not return.

Turkish officials say Mr Khashoggi was killed on the premises and his body was then removed.

 

The head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, Turan Kislakci, told the New York Times that Turkish police officers providing security for the consulate had checked their security cameras and did not see the journalist leave on foot.

But he added that diplomatic cars had been seen moving in and out.

Mr Erdogan was more circumspect, saying on Sunday he remained “positive” and would await the results of an investigation as Turkish authorities continued to look at camera footage, and airport arrivals and departures.

Turkey’s state news agency, quoting unnamed sources, said Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Ankara, Waleed A Elkhereiji, had been summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry on Sunday.

Turkey’s NTV broadcaster reported that a request had been made to search the consulate after the meeting with the ambassador. -BBC

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