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Turkey summons Saudi Arabia's ambassador over writer Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to discuss the whereabouts of veteran journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey’s state media reported, after he disappeared while visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday.

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Turkey summons Saudi Arabia's ambassador over writer Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance
05 Ekim 2018 - 07:16
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The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to discuss the whereabouts of veteran journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey’s state media reported, after he disappeared while visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Ambassador Walid bin Abdul Karim El Khereiji was called to the ministry Wednesday for questions about Khashoggi’s location, the private broadcaster NTV reported from Ankara, the Turkish capital. The ambassador, who met with Turkey’s deputy foreign minister, denied having knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, Thursday’s news report said.

According to NTV, Khereiji was told that “the matter should be clarified as soon as possible.”

Turkey’s summoning of the ambassador came as the New York-based Human Rights Watch called on the Turkish authorities to intensify their investigation into Khashoggi’s whereabouts.  The journalist, who writes for The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section and has criticized the Saudi leadership over the past year, has not been heard from since he entered the Saudi Consulate on Tuesday afternoon to obtain documents for his upcoming wedding, according to his fiancee and friends.  

Turkish officials said on Wednesday that they believed he was still inside the consulate. That contradicted assertions by the Saudi government, which said that Khashoggi left the mission soon after entering. 

“If Saudi authorities surreptitiously detained Khashoggi it would be yet another escalation of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s reign of repression against peaceful dissidents and critics,” Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement released Thursday, referring to Saudi Arabia’s young and influential heir to the throne.

“The burden of proof is on Saudi Arabia to produce evidence for its claim that Khashoggi left the consulate alone, and that Saudi agents have not detained him,” she said.  

Khashoggi entered the consulate about 1 p.m. Tuesday, according to his fiancee, who said she accompanied him but waited outside. The fiancee, who asked that her name be withheld, called police when Khashoggi did not emerge at 5 p.m., after the consulate had officially closed for the day.  WP


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