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08 October 2018 - 12:03
News ID: 440896
Rasa - A high-ranking Turkish official says Ankara will spare no effort to uncover details about prominent Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing after visiting the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, a few days ago.
In this file picture, Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Photo by AP)

RNA - “The condition of the lost journalist, details on him and who is responsible for this will be uncovered,” Omer Celik, spokesman for the ruling AK Party, told reporters at a party summit chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday.


He added that Turkey's sensitivity on the issue was at the highest level.


Meanwhile, Turkish prosecutors have launched a formal investigation into the disappearance of the Saudi journalist.


A judicial source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul initially began a probe on October 2, the day that the 59-year-old writer’s disappearance was reported.


The source noted that investigation over allegations that Khashoggi was detained had “deepened.”


The report came a day after major American daily newspaper the Washington Post printed a blank column in solidarity with the renowned journalist.


See an early look at tomorrow’s @washingtonpostOpinions page featuring a blank column for @JKhashoggi , who has not been heard from since Tuesday.— Washington Post PR (@WashPostPR) October 5, 2018


The daily’s editorial board also called on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to ensure the journalist “is free and able to continue his work.”


“His criticism, voiced over the past year, most surely rankles Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated to crown prince last year and has carried out a wide-ranging campaign to silence dissent while trying to modernize the kingdom,” the Post editorial read.


It added, “Among those in his prisons for political speech are clerics, bloggers, journalists and activists. He imprisoned women who agitated for the right to drive, a right that was granted even as they were punished.”


Also on Friday, supporters of the missing dissident journalist participated in a rally, organized by the Turkish-Arab Media Association (TAM), outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, calling for his “release.”


Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni activist and the 2011 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, said she believed Khashoggi “was kidnapped in this gangster's den that is supposed to be a consulate.”


“What we want is Jamal Khashoggi's release. He entered the building of the consulate, he has to come out of there safe and sound. And the Turkish government must assume its role and deal with the case of Jamal Khashoggi because Turkish sovereignty has been violated,” she noted. 


Bin Salman said late on Friday that he was ready to allow Turkey to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for the missing journalist.


“The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do. We have nothing to hide,” he said in an interview with English-language Bloomberg news network.


The Saudi crown prince added that Khashoggi had left the building not long after he entered.


Asked if Khashoggi faces charges in Saudi Arabia, Bin Salman said it was first important to discover where he was.


“If he’s in Saudi Arabia, I would know that,” he added.


According to Press TV, Khashoggi’s fiancée, who asked that her name be withheld, said he entered the consulate at around 1 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) on Tuesday, as she accompanied him but waited outside. 


The unnamed woman, who is a Turkish citizen, called police when Khashoggi did not emerge at 5 p.m., after the consulate had officially closed.


The rights group Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that it did not dismiss the possibility that Khashoggi's sudden disappearance was an attempt to silence the writer.


The Arab21 news website reported that the author paid a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, but was told by officials at the time to return at a later date to complete an application related to a family matter.


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 US since September 2017, when he left Saudi Arabia over fears of the Riyadh regime’s crackdown on critical voices.



Tags: Turkey Saudi
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