Turkey seeks miss­ing jour­nal­ist in Saudi Con­sulate

The Progress-Index - - OBITUARIES - By Ayse Wi­et­ing, Suzan Fraser and Jon Gam­brell

IS­TAN­BUL — Turkey said Tues­day it will search the Saudi Con­sulate in Is­tan­bul as it in­ves­ti­gates why jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi van­ished there a week ago, an ex­tra­or­di­nary probe of a diplo­matic post amid Turk­ish of­fi­cials’ fears the writer had been killed in­side the build­ing.

That Saudi Ara­bia would al­low for­eign­ers to en­ter a con­sulate and search it shows the grow­ing in­ter­na­tional pres­sure the king­dom faces over the dis­ap­pear­ance of Khashoggi, a con­trib­u­tor to the Wash­ing­ton Post.

The Saudis have called al­le­ga­tions of any in­volve­ment in his dis­ap­pear­ance “base­less,” but had no im­me­di­ate com­ment on Turkey’s an­nounce­ment. It re­mained un­clear when the search would take place.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Euro­pean lead­ers all have called on Riyadh to ex­plain what hap­pened to the 59-year-old jour­nal­ist who has crit­i­cized the Saudi gov­ern­ment. So far, the king­dom has of­fered no ev­i­dence in the past seven days to show that Khashoggi ever left the build­ing, as a new sur­veil­lance photo sur­faced showed him walk­ing in its main en­trance.

“The Saudi Con­sulate can­not ab­solve it­self of re­spon­si­bil­ity for this in­ci­dent by al­low­ing its premises to be searched,” said Gulseren Yo­leri of the Hu­man Rights As­so­ci­a­tion. “It has to prove that Ja­mal wasn’t op­pressed at the con­sulate and that he left safely.”

Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo also said U.S. of­fi­cials have raised the mat­ter with their Saudi coun­ter­parts.

“We call on the gov­ern­ment of Saudi Ara­bia to sup­port a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Mr. Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance and to be trans­par­ent about the re­sults of that in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Pom­peo said in a state­ment.

Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry spokesman Hami Ak­soy said Saudi au­thor­i­ties have no­ti­fied Ankara that they were “open to co­op­er­a­tion” and would al­low the con­sulate build­ing to be searched. Such a search would be an ex­tra­or­di­nary de­vel­op­ment, as em­bassies and con­sulates un­der the Vi­enna Con­ven­tion are tech­ni­cally for­eign soil and must be pro­tected by host na­tions.

Saudi Ara­bia may have agreed to the search in or­der to ap­pease its Western al­lies and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

A sur­veil­lance im­age has sur­faced, show­ing Khashoggi en­ter­ing the con­sulate Oct. 2. The pic­ture bore a date and time stamp, as well as a Turk­ish cap­tion say­ing that Khashoggi was ar­riv­ing at the con­sulate. The Post, which first pub­lished the photo, said “a per­son close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion” shared the im­age with them, with­out elab­o­rat­ing. The Turk­ish news­pa­per Hur­riyet also pub­lished the im­age.

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