Erdogan says closely following case of missing Saudi journalist

08 October, 2018, 11:25 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Turkey believes Saudi journalist was killed in consulate

The shocking report that dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have been killed in his country's consulate in Istanbul and his body secretly removed from the building is a story that the government in Riyadh isn't going to be able to ignore or dismiss with a mere denial.

"Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day", the government source said.

The Washington Post said it would be a "monstrous and unfathomable act" if he had been killed.

"It would be a major blow to the image that Saudi Arabia's advocates have so carefully tried to cultivate in the west, particularly in Washington", Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute in the United States, told AFP.

"A Saudi citizen, journalist, and dear friend of mine, Jamal Khashoggi, has been missing since October 2", wrote the prince.

"If Khashoggi was indeed murdered inside a diplomatic facility, it is an act of terror that echoes Russian and Chinese tactics of extraterritorial, extrajudicial attacks on dissidents, meant to intimidate any who would speak out against the Saudi government, no matter where they may be, and giving the lie to official narratives of "reform" in Saudi Arabia", said Summer Lopez, PEN America's senior director of free expression programs.

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He is a high-profile critic of the crown prince. The country's ultra-conservative clerics had pushed back against his criticism of the powerful religious police and Ibn Taymiyah, a medieval cleric viewed as the spiritual forefather of Wahhabism, the conservative interpretation of Islam that is the founding tenant of the kingdom.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Washington, March 22, 2018.

The same month dozens of Saudi officials were arrested in what the authorities said was an anti-corruption crackdown.

In an interview Friday with Bloomberg reporters, the Saudi crown prince said he was "very keen to know what happened" to Khashoggi.

"Saudi Arabia must return to supporting the Syrian revolution and partnering with Turkey on this".

Bessma Momani, a professor at Canada's University of Waterloo, agreed that Prince Mohammed's reputation was at stake. She tweeted Sunday that she refuses to give up hope until she receives government confirmation of his death.

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Saudi Arabia has strongly denounced outrageous, baseless allegations surrounding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "There are more disagreements than agreements", Dorsey, a fellow at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told AFP.

Khashoggi's disappearance was first reported by a Qatari channel that quoted a Turkish woman as saying she accompanied him to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve his divorce documents so they could marry.

The dispute over Khashoggi's disappearance also threatens to reopen rifts between Ankara and Riyadh.

What have the Saudis said?

Momani also believes the relationship will likely "worsen".

There has been a Twitter uproar on social media by political activists and opinion writers talking about they called the "exposed play", and the unusual Muslim Brotherhood supporters who tweeted that Khashoggi died two days ago, which was seen by many to expose the systematic and deliberate game. "For sure the whole story has big holes in it but lets think before we jump to conclusions".

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"Again the Turks are not a neutral party".

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