Turkish officials believe Saudi journalist killed, according to multiple reports

Clay Curtis
October 7, 2018

Turkish investigators believe a prominent Saudi journalist who contributed to The Washington Post was killed in "a preplanned murder" at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, the Post reported Saturday night, citing two anonymous officials.

He said the consulate was equipped with cameras but they did not record footage, so no images could be retrieved of Khashoggi entering or leaving the consulate, which is ringed by police barriers and has high security fences topped with barbed wire.

A senior Turkish police source told MEE that Khashoggi had been "brutally tortured, killed and cut into pieces".

Saudi Arabia's consul-general rejected claims about a possible abduction, telling Reuters that his country was helping search for Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Washington for the past year fearing retribution for his criticism of Saudi policies, entered the consulate on Tuesday to secure documents for his forthcoming marriage, according to his fiancee, who waited outside. He has not been heard from since.

"The idea of kidnapping a Saudi citizen by a diplomatic mission is something that should not be put forward in the media".

Pressed on how he would regard Trump's humiliating and harsh rhetoric against Saudi Arabia, bin Salman said, "I love working with him", referring to the controversial remarks as a "bad issue" offset by "99 percent of good things". Turkey's support of political Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, also angers leaders in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, which label the organization a "terrorist group" threatening their hereditarily ruled nations. "We believe that all the armaments we have from the United States of America are paid for, it's not free armament", the Saudi crown prince said in a Bloomberg interview conducted on Wednesday and published on Friday.

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Relations between the two countries are already strained after Turkey sent troops to the Gulf state of Qatar previous year in a show of support after its Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, imposed an embargo on Doha.

Khashoggi maintained ties with Saudi elites, including those in its intelligence apparatus, and launched a satellite news channel, Al-Arab, from Bahrain in 2015 with the backing of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. "To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison". "Jamal was - or, as we hope, is - a committed, courageous journalist".

"With young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power, he promised an embrace of social and economic reform", Khashoggi wrote in his first column for the Post.

The conflicting accounts appeared certain to deepen a rift between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, both regional powers that have competed for influence in the region.

Consul General of Saudi Arabia Mohammad al-Otaibi answers questions during an interview with Reuters at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 6, 2018.

Agence France-Presse was told: "Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day".

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