World

Turkish authorities to search Saudi consulate after dissident journalist vanishes

Turkish authorities to search Saudi consulate after dissident journalist vanishes

"The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul".

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he's personally "chasing" the investigation into the disappearance of his friend, and that Turkish officials are investigating "everything". "We have jobs, we have a lot of things happening in this country".

"We can not let this happen to reporters, to anybody", Mr Trump said on Wednesday.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who had been published in the Arab and Western media, vanished last Tuesday after visiting the consulate to obtain official documents.

Now a source close to the Saudi royals has told DailyMail.com that an alternative version of events is being discussed inside high levels of the Saudi government.

That means Turkish police can not enter and search the consulate unless they get permission from the Saudi authorities, which they have now reportedly received. Violence against journalists across the globe is a threat to freedom of the press & human rights. "If media reports prove correct, we will treat the incident seriously - friendships depend on shared values", he wrote.

"The consulate building will be searched in the framework of the investigation", Aksoy said in a written statement.

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

Reacting to news of the alleged murder, the journalist's Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, said on Twitter she "did not believe he has been killed".

Al Jazeera couldn't immediately verify the news report.

Khashoggi had gone to the consulate on Tuesday last week to get paperwork he needed for his upcoming marriage. The search proved fruitless and the plane took off again afterwards, it said.

It was not immediately clear if the Anadolu report referred to one of those aircraft.




Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey during his NY visit in 2016.

Earlier on Tuesday, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt met the Saudi ambassador, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, to voice the UK's concern about the disappearance Mr Khashoggi.

Even US President Donald Trump, who took his first overseas trip as US president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had concerns.

'Although my hope slowly fades away each passing day, I remain confident that Jamal is still alive, ' Cengiz wrote.

"Perhaps I'm simply trying to hide from the thought that I have lost a great man whose love I had earned".

Reports of Jamal Khashoggi being detained and killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul are "absolutely false and baseless", said Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the USA said in a statement. "We are fully aligned with the United States on this, with the U.S. position on this", she said.

What's next: Erdogan's statement today suggests he is not keen on escalating tensions with Saudi Arabia - at least for now - and that Ankara is inclined to await the official outcome of the probe into Khashoggi's disappearance before making a decisive diplomatic move.

Saudi Arabia has dismissed the allegation as baseless, while the United Nations has called the conservative kingdom to cooperate with Turkey in conducting an "impartial and independent investigation". He said that senior state officials have been in communication with Riyadh.

He is also a former editor of the Saudi newspaper al-Watan and had worked with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a grandson of the first Saudi king who was detained previous year as part of what the authorities said was an anti-corruption campaign.

The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey has always been contentious. That's according to Turkey's state-owned news agency Anadolu.

Over the past year Khashoggi used his platform as a Washington Post columnist to criticize the policies of Saudi Arabia's powerful young crown prince, from the war in Yemen to the arrest of women's rights advocates.


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