NY Times: Turkey Claims Saudis Killed, Chopped Up Journalist

Jamal Khashoggi's fianc

A Turkish security source told Reuters that a group of 15 Saudi nationals, including some officials, had arrived in Istanbul in two planes and entered the consulate on the same day Khashoggi was there, and later left the country.

According to two sources quoted by The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi worked, the journalist died earlier this week at the hands of a Saudi assassination squad.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Tuesday that Saudi authorities have notified Ankara that they were "open to cooperation" and would allow the consulate building to be searched.

But the ministry did not provide a timeline when that might happen.

The Saudi journalist, missing for a week, Jamal Khashoggi was sent to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul from the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC. Turkey's forensic analysis examined all the CCTV footage for the consulate entrances and exits, for the area around the consulate, and at the airport, and could find no sign of Khashoggi.

Saudi writer Mr Khashoggi, a high-profile critic of the regime, disappeared a week ago after entering the consulate to obtain paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee. Saudi Arabia still insists it's all baseless. As a precaution, he told Cengiz that she should contact an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he did not return.

Turkish officials later announced that they believed Khashoggi was murdered inside of the consulate and that his body was transported out of the building.

A surveillance image has surfaced, showing Khashoggi entering the consulate October 2. "As the president of the Turkish Republic I am following it, chasing it and, whatever conclusions come from here, we will inform the world about it", he said.

Mr Khashoggi was last seen visiting the consulate last week and Turkey says he may have been murdered there.

Yemeni Nobel Prize victor Tawakkol Karman, centre, participates at a demonstration for Khashoggi that was organized by the Turkish-Arabic Media Association in front of the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on Friday. "And hopefully, that will sort itself out", Trump said.

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Khashoggi had fled his homeland in September previous year and had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States, where he had applied for U.S. citizenship, Cengiz said. She said the writer first visited the consulate on September 28 "despite being somewhat concerned that he could be in danger". "State Department senior officials have spoken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels about this matter".

A Sunni power, Saudi Arabia is also annoyed by Ankara's rapprochement with the kingdom's archrival, Iran.

The announcement came as the Washington Post published a surveillance image of Mr Khashoggi walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and United States resident, had written articles critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Later on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that USA intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi, citing a source familiar with the situation.

The US president, Donald Trump, a robust ally of Saudi Arabia, who had pledged to stay out of the country's domestic affairs, made his first reference to the case on Monday, telling reporters he was "concerned" about "some pretty bad stories" about Khashoggi's fate.

But what about the USA alliance with Saudi Arabia?

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh are at a low point over Turkey's support for Qatar in that country's yearlong dispute with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

At least one American lawmaker, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy, said on Twitter, "If this is true - that the Saudis lured a U.S. resident into their consulate and murdered him - it should represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia".

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