Pressure on Saudis after disappearance of dissident in Istanbul

Calls for international inquiry amid claims Riyadh involved in state-sponsored murder

Jamal Khashoggi
Jamal Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in suburban Istanbul on Tuesday afternoon. Photograph: Reuters

Turkish authorities have claimed that the high-profile dissident Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by a hit squad sent from Riyadh, amid calls for an international inquiry into a disappearance that has rocked the region.

After alleging on Saturday that the journalist was killed in an act of state-sponsored murder, and that his body was later removed, officials said on Sunday they had based their beliefs on an investigation by police and intelligence officers, who had pored over security camera footage and spoken with informants inside the consulate.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, struck a cautious note on Sunday, claiming he was “saddened” by Khashoggi’s disappearance and was waiting for the results of the investigation. Erdoğan’s tone appeared designed to delay a diplomatic crisis that would be likely to follow if and when he put his full authority to the allegations.

Earlier, an adviser to Erdoğan, Yasin Aktay, told Turkish CNN: “There is concrete information; it will not remain an unsolved case. If they consider Turkey to be as it was in the 1990s, they are mistaken.”


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