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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Breaks Silence Over Jamal Khashoggi Killing

Picture Courtesy: PTI file
Picture Courtesy: PTI file

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan according to various media reports reportedly stated that that his country’s investigation into the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi has revealed that it was a premeditated and meticulously planned political assassination. He said that reconnaissance teams went as far as scouting forest areas near Istanbul.

Erdogan said Khashoggi’s death was an international issue – and one that Turkey will pursue. He said evidence suggests Khashoggi was the victim of a “gruesome murder’ and an atrocity that must not be covered up. He said it was significant that the Saudis have admitted Khashoggi was murdered and so those involved must face justice.

He asked why was a 15-man Saudi team in Turkey? On whose orders? Why was the consulate not opened to investigators immediately? Why were so many different statements given by Saudis? Who is the local collaborator who disposed of Khashoggi’s body? Erdogan said Saudi must answer all these questions.

The Turkish president said security services have evidence that the murder was a planned affair. Turkey and the world will only be satisfied when all the planners and perpetrators are held to account. Other countries must participate in the investigation. He also called for an independent commission over the murder.

Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi journalist often critical of Saudi Arabia and its leadership, walked into the Istanbul consulate at around 1 pm on Oct 2, to pick up some documents that would allow him to marry. He never left the consulate alive. Turkish security sources say he was immediately seized inside the consulate by 15 Saudi intelligence operatives who had flown in on two jets just hours before, questioned, and killed and the body disposed off.

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