Turkish officials say Saudi writer killed

Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

A prominent Saudi journalist and critic of the regime was murdered at the country's consulate in Istanbul last week by a 15-member team sent specifically for the goal, Turkish officials claimed yesterday.

The journalist and regular columnist in the Washington Post has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. The delegation is there to assist in the investigations regarding the disappearance of the Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi.

The sources did not say how they believed the killing was carried out. "We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate", anonymous sources told both Reuters and the Associated Press.

"The Saudi officials flew into Istanbul on two different flights on Tuesday", Al Jazeera's Istanbul correspondent Jamal Elshayyal quoted his sources as saying on Saturday.

"A journalist disappearing like this in a secure country like the Republic of Turkey is something that will be followed up with sensitivity", ruling party spokesman Omer Celik said, according to the Anadolu news agency.

The Saudi consul-general in Istanbul allowed reporters from the Reuters news agency to tour the consulate Saturday, to show that Khashoggi was not inside.

Khashoggi's disappearance has drawn attention to Prince Salman's crackdowns on his critics.

The 59-year-old Khashoggi went missing Tuesday while on a visit to the consulate for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiance.

Khashoggi, a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who writes for The Washington Post's Global Opinions section, has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since September 2017.

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Khashoggi is known to have been critical of the Saudi domestic and foreign policies. Saudi officials say he left shortly afterwards but his fiancee, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.

Pressed on how he would regard Trump's humiliating rhetoric against Saudi Arabia, the crown prince described the controversial remarks as a "bad issue" offset by "99 percent of good things".

The source noted "Saudi Arabia's appreciation for the brotherly Turkish government's acceptance of the request". And we will continue our dialogue with the Turkish government to see what happened to Jamal there.

The Washington Post chose to leave a blank space where Khashoggi's column would have been in its Friday edition in support of the missing writer.

Last week, Trump asked at a rally "when you have wealthy countries like Saudi Arabia, like Japan, like South Korea, why are we subsidising their military?"

"Ever since the relationship started between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, we've bought everything with money", he further said, adding that since Trump came to power, the kingdom made a decision to purchase over 60 percent of its needed armament from the U.S. "for the next 10 years".

Human rights groups have urged Riyadh to shed light on Khashoggi's whereabouts.

Protesters hold up pictures of Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.

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