Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey’s Erdogan urges Saudi Arabia to release images
11 October 2018
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Saudi Arabia to release images proving that a missing reporter left its consulate in Istanbul.
Mr Erdogan questioned whether it was “possible for there to be no camera systems” running at the building, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reports.
Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi was last seen entering the consulate last week.
Turkish officials claim that Mr Khashoggi was murdered within its walls. Saudi Arabia denies this.
“We are investigating all aspects of the event,” Mr Erdogan said on Thursday, adding: “This is an incident which took place in our country; it is not possible for us to remain silent.”
“If a bird flew, or a fly or a mosquito appeared, the systems would capture this; they [Saudi Arabia] have the most cutting-edge systems,” Hurriyet quoted him as saying.
Mr Erdogan has previously challenged Saudi Arabia to provide proof of its version of events – that Mr Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi monarchy, had left the consulate “after a few minutes or one hour”.
The Turkish president’s latest comments come just hours after US President Donald Trump vowed to “get to the bottom” of Mr Khashoggi’s case.
“We cannot let this happen to reporters, to anybody,” Mr Trump said on Wednesday, adding: “We’re demanding everything. We want to see what’s going on there.”
Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are allies of the United States.
What information has Turkey provided?
On Wednesday, Turkish media outlets published CCTV footage, which they say shows evidence of a plot linked to Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Broadcast by Turkey’s TRT World channel and apparently obtained from security cameras, it shows purported Saudi intelligence officers entering and leaving Turkey via Istanbul airport.
Turkish investigators are looking into two Saudi Gulfstream jets that landed at the airport on 2 October. The video shows aircraft waiting on the tarmac.
Mr Khashoggi was visiting the consulate to finalise his divorce so he could marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.
He is seen on the video entering the consulate, while his fiancée waited outside.
Turkey’s Sabah newspaper reports that it has identified 15 members of an intelligence team it says was involved in the Saudi’s disappearance. Among them was a forensics expert, it says.
Turkey says it will conduct a search of the Istanbul consulate, while Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said the country was “open to co-operation” and a search of the building could go ahead.
Who is Jamal Khashoggi?
A critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Mr Khashoggi was living in self-imposed exile in the US and writing opinion pieces for the Washington Post before his disappearance.
A former editor of the al-Watan newspaper and a short-lived Saudi TV news channel, he was for years seen as close to the Saudi royal family. He served as an adviser to senior Saudi officials.
But after several of his friends were arrested, his column was cancelled by the al-Hayat newspaper and he was allegedly warned to stop tweeting, Mr Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia for the US.
Ms Cengiz has described her fiancé as a “valuable person, an exemplary thinker and a courageous man”. “I don’t know how I can keep living if he was abducted or killed in Turkey,” she wrote in an emotional piece in the Washington Post.