Turkey probes whether journalist was murdered in Saudi Consulate

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, 59, vanished after an appointment with Saudi officials on Tuesday. The Turkish private NTV television said Ankara requested permission for Turkish investigators to search the consulate building in Istanbul, but a Foreign Ministry official would not confirm the report.

"The entries and exits from the consulate are. all being investigated now and being followed and all departures and arrivals from the airport are all being followed and our police force is controlling them and at the same time various units of our police chasing it", he said. He visited the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documentation to finalize his divorce; his Turkish fiancée waited for him outside the building, and reported him missing after he didn't return.

Fred Hiatt, director of The Washington Post's editorial page, issued a statement calling Khashoggi's possible murder a "monstrous and unfathomable act". The case would not go unsolved, Aktay said.

When was he last seen?

On Tuesday, he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Ms Cengiz said she waited outside for 11 hours, but he did not come out.

Khashoggi's criticism of the current Saudi leadership "has been honest", adding that he had seen him personally over the past year and had even exchanged text messages with the missing journalist.

'Jamal is not dead! "There's no difference between the state terror and other terror actions", she added. "It has been conveyed to him that we expect full coordination in the investigation process", the official said.

After that the agency tweeted in correction: "The Saudi security delegation arrived Sunday at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, days after journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared".

A senior police source told online news website Middle East Eye the journalist had been "brutally murdered, killed and cut into pieces".

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But the crown prince is also seen as the main mover behind a diplomatic spat with Canada in August over what the Saudis claimed was inappropriate public criticism over human rights.

What have the Saudis said?

Salman said that Khashoggi, who was once close to the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, had "always been honest".

"He disagreed with some of the policies of Mohammed bin Salman, but he was not a political dissident, he's not leading any organised network, he was a journalist - he wanted to write and to speak freely, and that was the reason he left Saudi Arabia". The US government has so far said that it can not confirm the reports of what happened to him, but is following the case.

Prince Salman's interview came a day after Trump told a crowd of supporters at a rally in Southaven, Mississippi, that Saudi King Salman would not last in power unless the US provided military support for the kingdom. And while the authorities here are so far not providing evidence to back it up, it's inconceivable that such a claim would have been made without firm grounds. Relations were already strained after Turkey sent troops to the Gulf state of Qatar a year ago in a show of support after its Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, imposed an embargo on Doha. But if proven, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi would be the most serious diplomatic crisis between the two in living memory.

"We protect Saudi Arabia". And the crown prince has pledged $45bn to an investment fund for Silicon Valley and other tech ventures.

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. Saudis are not permitted to champion or intellectually argue for reform, they are only takers of change granted from the megalomaniac, brash Crown Prince.

The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, was last month reported to have overruled his own top advisers to approve the continued supply of arms to Saudi Arabia for its campaign in Yemen, despite the high civilian death toll from aerial bombardment.

Khashoggi's disappearance could put pressure on the Saudi crown prince, who has promoted an image of himself as a reformer and a reliable Western ally.

One week after Khashoggi's disappearance at the Saudi facility in Istanbul, the official Saudi line remains that the kingdom is as confused as everyone else.

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