World Media

Jamal Khashoggi: Turkish authorities claim prominent journalist killed in Saudi consulate

Jamal Khashoggi: Turkish authorities claim prominent journalist killed in Saudi consulate

That apparently referred to Turkish officials saying they believed that Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate after disappearing Tuesday.

Mystery surrounds the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing since entering the kingdom's Istanbul consulate on October 2.

Khashoggi, 59, who was once close to the Saudi royal family and has served as an adviser for senior Saudi officials, left the country previous year to live in the U.S. in self-imposed exile, saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent.

Saudi officials have denied the allegations that Khashoggi was killed as "baseless".

Mr Khashoggi reportedly left his phone with her - plus instructions to call a member of Turkey's governing party if he failed to return.

"His friends had warned him (Khashoggi), 'Do not go there, it is not safe, ' but he said they (the Saudis) could not do anything in Turkey", said Aktay.

Mr Atkay's comments come amid speculation that Khashoggi's body was dismembered after his murder so it could be smuggled out of the consulate in parts.

Moulay Hicham recalled recent news reports, which alleged that the Saudi journalist was tortured and murdered "at the hands of his own countrymen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul".

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Fred Hiatt, director of The Washington Post's editorial page, issued a statement calling Khashoggi's possible murder a "monstrous and unfathomable act".

A Turkish official separately told the AP that authorities believe Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate.

A spokesperson for the US State Department said: "We are not in a position to confirm these reports, but we are closely following the situation".

Convinced that he faced no official threat from the powerful crown prince, and feeling pressure from his future father-in-law to get the marriage process rolling, Khashoggi believed the odds were with him.

Erdogan said he would wait for the outcome of the current investigation before taking a decision.

Although Khashoggi was planning to move to Istanbul, he was also a legal resident of the United States and a contributing columnist for The Washington Post.

He fled Saudi Arabia for Washington in September 2017, months after Prince Mohammed was appointed heir to the throne.

Khashoggi's fiancee could not immediately be contacted but she said in a Tweet that there had been no official confirmation of the Turkish sources' statements.

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Some have speculated that Khashoggi's body may have been removed from the country.

Saudi Arabia has since March 2015 spearheaded a regional military intervention in Yemen, in support of a government that is fighting rebels backed by Riyadh's arch-rival Iran.

A Saudi Arabian journalist was murdered in an assassination operation at the country's Istanbul consulate, investigators believe.

But the ultra-conservative kingdom, which won plaudits in June for lifting a ban on women driving, has drawn heavy criticism for its handling of dissent.

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

The pair wrote: "For his domestic reform programme, the crown prince deserves praise".

Perhaps the main thing to be aware of is that he has described Prince Mohammed as a "brash and abrasive young innovator" - and even said he is "acting like Putin".

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.

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