'Who gave order to kill Jamal Khashoggi?': Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan demands answers from Saudi Arabia
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Saudi Arabia on Friday to disclose who gave the order to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well the location of his body, saying Turkey had more information about the case than it has shared so far.
Istanbul: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Saudi Arabia on Friday to disclose who gave the order to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well the location of his body, saying Turkey had more information about the case than it has shared so far.
Erdogan also said Riyadh needed to reveal the identity of the “local cooperator” who Saudi officials earlier said had taken Khashoggi’s body from Saudi agents after the journalist was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.
Saudi Arabia said on Thursday the killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was premeditated, reversing previous statements that it was unintended.
Khashoggi’s murder sparked global outrage and mushroomed into a crisis for the world’s top oil exporting country and Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto ruler.
“Who gave this order?” Erdogan said in a speech to members of his AK Party in Ankara. “Who gave the order for 15 people to come to Turkey?” he said, referring to a 15-man Saudi security team Turkey has said flew into Istanbul hours before the killing. Erdogan also said Saudi’s public prosecutor was due to meet the Istanbul prosecutor in Istanbul on Sunday.
Saudi officials initially denied having anything to do with Khashoggi’s disappearance after he entered the consulate, before changing the official account to say an internal investigation suggested he was accidentally killed in a botched operation to return him to the kingdom.
On Thursday, Saudi State TV quoted the Saudi public prosecutor as saying the killing had been planned, and that prosecutors were interrogating suspects on the basis of information provided by a joint Saudi-Turkish task force.
Turkey's president has suggested his country might approve Finland's application for NATO membership before taking any action on Sweden's, while the Turkish government issued a travel warning for European countries due to anti-Turkish demonstrations and what it described as Islamophobia.
Turkey's decision came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sweden he would not support its bid to join the Western US-led defence alliance. Bids to join NATO must be ratified by all members of the alliance, of which Turkey is a member
Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is fighting for his political future just months before a May election, faces a daunting task in the aftermath of Monday's earthquake, which was one of the deadliest and most destructive natural disasters this century