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Turkey to search Saudi Consulate for missing journalist

10 October 2018

Saudi Arabian officials invited Turkish experts and related officials to visit its consulate in Istanbul, the Anadolu Agency reported on Tuesday, following the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi a week ago.

According to some media reports, Khashoggi, 59, has been killed inside the Saudi consulate.

The Saudi Consulate insists Khashoggi left its building, contradicting Turkish officials who say they believe he is still there.

"We are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises", he said. "We will not spare any effort to locate him, just as we would if it were any other Saudi citizen". "Jamal was not killed and I do not believe he was killed", Hatice Cengiz posted.

"We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation", he said.

"Now when this person enters, whose duty is it to prove that he left or not?"

"I am following the (issue) and we will inform the world whatever the outcome" of the official probe, the president told reporters in Ankara.

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.

"We would like to know exactly what happened inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance", said Mohamed Okad, a friend of Khashoggi and founder of Insight into Crisis, a conflict advisory group.

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Graham, who played golf Sunday with Trump at the president's course in Sterling, Va., said that he had consulted with Senate Foreign Relations Committee members Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) over their "shared concerns regarding the whereabouts and treatment" of Khashoggi.

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. Saudi authorities have called the allegation "baseless".

Claiming that Khashoggi left the embassy, Saudi officials expressed concern about his mysterious disappearance.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged the Saudis to back up their claim that Khashoggi left the consulate. "Saudi Arabia wasn't always this repressive".

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman has implemented a string of reforms in his country, but with his ascension to crown prince in June 2017 has come an intensified crackdown on dissent.

The mainstream is pointing to Donald Trump's close ties to the 33-year-old Crown Prince, without noting that support for the Saudi regime is longstanding and bipartisan; in 2011 Barack Obama approved $60 billion in arms sales to the kingdom, up to that point the largest weapons transaction in history.

In an article published by Al-Jazeera this week, journalist and analyst Bill Law described Khashoggi as "a brilliant journalist with a fiercely independent mind but with sufficient pragmatism to know just how close to the red lines he could go".

It is well-known that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have, of late, been involved in a fierce competition to gain supremacy in the Middle East and Gulf region.

Rumors and leaks on Mr Khashoggi's fate are "malicious" and "outrageous" the ambassador said.

Turkey to search Saudi Consulate for missing journalist