Erdogan op-ed: Order for Khashoggi killing came from highest levels of Saudi government

In an ...

Posted: Nov 4, 2018 8:35 AM
Updated: Nov 4, 2018 8:35 AM

In an op-ed published Friday in The Washington Post, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote about the questions surrounding Jamal Khashoggi's death and says the order to kill him came "from the highest levels of the Saudi government."

The piece, posted by the US newspaper that Khashoggi worked for, is the most direct accusation made by Erdogan to date against the Saudis.

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Khashoggi, 59, was last seen alive around lunchtime on October 2 entering Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate, where he hoped to obtain paperwork that would have allowed him to marry Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish national. When he failed to re-emerge, his fiancée -- who was waiting outside -- alerted Turkish authorities that something was wrong.

Erdogan explained in the op-ed that a month after the Khashoggi's death, Ankara still does not know where Khashoggi's remains are. He called Khashoggi's killing "inexplicable."

Erdogan added that he does not believe Saudi Arabia's monarch had Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was critical of the government, killed.

"I do not believe for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques, ordered the hit on Khashoggi," Erdogan wrote.

And the Turkish President said he does not believe the killing reflects Saudi Arabia's official policy.

Erdogan wrote that the two nations "enjoy friendly relations" but added the long friendship doesn't mean Turkey will "turn a blind eye to the premeditated murder that unfolded in front of our very eyes."

He expressed concern that there was no action against the Saudi consul general.

"Likewise, the refusal of the Saudi public prosecutor -- who recently visited his counterpart in Istanbul -- to cooperate with the (Turkish) investigation and answer even simple questions is very frustrating," he wrote.

It is as if Saudi officials are stalling, Erdogan said.

Turkish officials think Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate and that his body was dismembered, the chief prosecutor's office in Istanbul said earlier this week.

Saudi officials have presented shifting stories about Khashoggi's fate, initially denying any knowledge of his death, then arguing that a group of rogue operators, many of whom belong to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's inner circle, was responsible for his killing.

The killing of Khashoggi has sparked international condemnation and outrage. Riyadh has maintained that neither King Salman nor Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew of the operation to target Khashoggi.

US officials have said such a mission, which included sending 15 men from Riyadh, could not have been carried out without the authorization of bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler.

Erdogan did not mention the Crown Prince in his op-ed.

Erdogan last week demanded that Saudi Arabia reveal the location of Khashoggi's remains and hand over 18 suspects.

The Saudi government has said it will carry out a thorough and transparent investigation and that the suspects will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19672230
Hinds18799386
Harrison16710278
Rankin12685264
Jackson12592226
Lee9687160
Madison9457199
Jones7962146
Forrest7208136
Lauderdale6833226
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Pike300195
Scott293870
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Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122438
Perry121634
Lawrence120321
Carroll118225
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Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
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Kemper90223
Quitman77114
Franklin76119
Choctaw69516
Jefferson62527
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493769

Reported Deaths: 9931
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson710731374
Mobile36139727
Madison32425455
Tuscaloosa24184410
Montgomery22586500
Shelby21968215
Baldwin19758283
Lee14967153
Morgan13667251
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Marshall11262209
Houston10104261
Elmore9385185
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Lauderdale8607211
DeKalb8459175
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Walker6524255
Jackson6495102
Autauga627091
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Colbert6004118
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Dale4642107
Russell404930
Franklin399177
Covington3960106
Chilton3876100
Escambia377672
Tallapoosa3588142
Clarke343650
Chambers3413110
Dallas3403141
Pike293472
Lawrence283484
Marion281995
Winston246867
Bibb245060
Geneva239970
Marengo236455
Pickens224654
Barbour211651
Hale210568
Fayette200756
Butler196866
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Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163740
Washington156535
Crenshaw144854
Clay144454
Macon142043
Cleburne137839
Lamar132833
Lowndes131151
Wilcox121825
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Perry105627
Sumter98531
Coosa88923
Greene88232
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