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'Prove' Jamal Khashoggi walked out of consulate - Erdogan asks Riyadh

10 October 2018

Turkey's Foreign Ministry says authorities will search Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul in connection with the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A security source said that Turkish forces then allowed the Saudi plane to take off after they did not find any evidence that Khashoggi was onboard. Security camera footage shows boxes being loaded into the van, which carried diplomatic number plates. "It has to prove that Jamal wasn't oppressed at the consulate and that he left safely". Erdogan has said he would await the results of an investigation. Tonight the New York Times reported that Turkish officials concluded he was assassinated in the consulate "on orders from the highest levels of the royal court". Details of the convoy were disclosed by the pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper.

"We hope that he is safe and that we can hear from him soon". "Consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying 'he has left, '" Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest, where he is on an official visit.

Saudi officials earlier on Tuesday invited Turkish experts and related officials to visit the consulate, according to Turkey's state-owned news agency Anadolu.

Britain has apparently told the Saudis they need to show Mr Khashoggi is alive, and the best way to do that would be for him to appear on television. His fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, waited 11 hours for him outside, but he never came out.

CCTV footage showed Khashoggi entering the consulate - but there is no public evidence that he either left or was kidnapped or killed.

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Khashoggi hadn't lived in Saudi Arabia since he moved to the United States previous year. That team was sent "specifically for the murder", a person with knowledge of the Turkish investigation tells the Post.

His reticence has raised questions about whether Turkey might ultimately back away from an explicit accusation in the interest of preserving relations with Saudi Arabia, a wealthy regional heavyweight.

The countries have significant trade and investment ties and vie for influence across the region.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said a search would be conducted there.

Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia a year ago saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy over the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent, and since then wrote columns for the Washington Post newspaper.

Turkish officials accuse Saudi Arabia of murdering Khashoggi, 59, ... Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to comment publicly.

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The episode has put the United Kingdom in an awkward diplomatic position since it is close both to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, the Saudi government put at least 100 people to death previous year, according to Amnesty International.

Khashoggi's last column for the Post, in which he attacked MBS's signature foreign policy initiative-the disastrous war in Yemen-may have been the proverbial straw for the crown prince.

France said it was seeking an explanation as to how an "accomplished and esteemed" journalist had vanished.

Reports of Jamal Khashoggi being detained and killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul are "absolutely false and baseless", said Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. said in a statement. One place to start is the excellent 2016 book by Medea Benjamin, of Code Pink, called Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S. -Saudi Connection.

After three hours of waiting, Cengiz was told that Khashoggi had already left but she says "there's no proof that he came out".

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