ANKARA: Turkey sought permission Monday to search Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul after a prominent journalist from the kingdom went missing last week, media reports said, amid claims he was murdered, reports AFP.
Ankara asked to search the consulate where Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi vanished last Tuesday after entering the building, Turkish NTV broadcaster reported. A Turkish government source at the weekend said the 59-year-old had been killed. Riyadh vehemently denied the claim and said Khashoggi had left the consulate. Ankara’s search request was made after the foreign ministry summoned the Saudi ambassador for a second time Sunday over the journalist’s disappearance.A Turkish diplomatic source confirmed Monday that the Saudi envoy had met deputy foreign minister Sedat Onal. “The ambassador was told that we expected full cooperation during the investigation,” the source said. The ambassador was first summoned to the ministry on Wednesday.
Protesters gathered outside the Saudi consulate on Monday with banners reading “We will not leave without Jamal Khashoggi”, demanding to know what had happened to the reporter.
Yemeni activist and 2011 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Tawakkol Karman, said it would be an “awful crime” if the claims of his death were true.
“Killing him is like killing us. This policy is just a terror policy. There’s no difference between the state terror and other terror actions,” she added.
The consulate rejected the claims that the journalist was killed there as “baseless”.