Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded that Saudi Arabian officials must prove that journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing since last week, had left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
While addressing a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister in Budapest on Monday, Erdogan said, “We have to get an outcome from this investigation as soon as possible. The consulate officials cannot save themselves by simply saying ‘he has left’.”
Elaborating his views on the subject he said, “The relevant authorities are obligated to provide proof of this claim, on this matter. If he left, you must prove this, you will prove this, even if it’s with visuals. Those who ask Turkish authorities ‘where is he?’ should first be asking ‘how did this happen?'”
Meanwhile, Washington Post has published a surveillance image on Tuesday showing its missing Saudi contributor walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, just before he disappeared.
The image bore a date and date stamp. The Post said “a person close to the investigation” shared the image with them. The Turkish text on the bottom right of the image says “Jamal Khashoggi comes to the consulate.”
Khashoggi, 59, went missing while on a visit to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee. The consulate insists the writer left its premises, contradicting Turkish officials.
Turkish officials have said they fear the columnist was killed inside the mission. A 12-member team from Saudi Arabia arrived in two different flights, the day when Khashoggi was scheduled to visit, who have allegedly killed the dissident journalist.
Khashoggi, who left Saudi Arabia in 2017, was living in US and his write-ups were regularly being published by the Washington Post. He used to criticise Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on his adventure against Yemen, arresting women activists and diplomatic ire with Canada.
Saudi Arabia has denied the allegations as “baseless,” but has offered no evidence over the past one week to show that he ever left the building.
In a related development Turkey summoned the Saudi ambassador on Sunday to request the kingdom’s “full cooperation” in the investigation, a Foreign Ministry official said. Ankara has also asked Saudi Arabian authorities to permit its investigators to search the consulate building.
In the latest tweet, Prisoners of Conscience, an organisation of the Saudi citizens living abroad, said:
▫️UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner: We are very concerned about the "enforced disappearance" of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and we will announce a specific position on the case after concluding the investigations. pic.twitter.com/j4WaWKhhMi— Prisoners of Conscie (@m3takl_en) October 9, 2018