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Erdogan to Saudi Arabia: You have to prove that Khashoggi left the consulate

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meets King of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz (R) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 14 February 2017. [Kayhan Özer/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meets King of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz (R) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 14 February 2017 [Kayhan Özer/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that officials at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul have to prove that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had left its building, at a time when Ankara asked to enter the consulate building for inspection.

Erdogan added in a news conference in Hungary, the country he is visiting, on Monday: “I have given my orders to the intelligence services, the Ministry of Justice, the prosecution and the police to take the necessary measures and gather information about Jamal Khashoggi and then reveal them.”

The Turkish president stressed that the incidence of the disappearance of Khashoggi is, “of high importance,” and explained that “it is part of our political and moral duties to follow up this case, and it is impossible to ignore it.”

READ: Excerpts from Saudi journalist Khashoggi’s column

Erdogan pointed out that “security and intelligence officials are investigating Khashoggi’s case, and the prosecution is checking up the records of the arrival and departure of Saudi citizens from Istanbul airport.”

Authorities request an inspection of the consulate

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has submitted a request to get the permission to inspect the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as part of the investigations of the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last week after entering the consulate.

Reuters news agency quoted a Turkish official in an interview with local NTV channel as saying: “Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Saudi ambassador in Ankara again on Sunday. We informed him that we expect full coordination in the investigation process.”

Where is Jamal Khashoggi?... - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Where is Jamal Khashoggi?… – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Last Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Saudi ambassador to Ankara, Waleed Elkhereiji, to inquire about Khashoggi’s situation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters on Sunday evening that the authorities have started checking all security cameras and airport records, hours after a Turkish security source told Reuters that “Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.”

Khashoggi went to the Saudi consulate on Tuesday to extract documents for his marriage. Saudi officials said that he left shortly after, but his fiancée, who was waiting for him outside the building, said he had not come out.

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