Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there was “strong evidence” that the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a planned operation. The announcement was made during Erdogan’s speech to the Turkish parliament, in which he spoke on the investigation into the case.
The Turkish leader confirmed earlier reports by Turkish media detailing the events leading up to Khashoggi’s death at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, including the arrival of three separate Saudi groups in Istanbul before the visit of the journalist.
Speaking to lawmakers in Ankara, Erdogan stressed that evidence shows that Khashoggi’s death was a planned operation rather than an accident and that he was murdered in a “cruel manner.”
According to him, Saudi agents began arriving in Istanbul the day before the journalist’s murder and removed the cameras at the consulate.
Khashoggi’s body has not yet been found, he said. But, he stressed, as the murder took place in Istanbul, the suspects should be tried in Turkey.
As for the body of the journalist, several versions have recently appeared. Thus, the leader of the Turkish party Vatan, Dogu Perincek, reported that Khashoggi’s body would have been found at the Saudi consul’s residence in Istanbul. In particular, the body was in a well in the garden of the residence, said the politician, who would have received information from the Istanbul security services.
However, the media reported that Khashoggi’s body would have been removed from the consulate hidden in a carpet and then handed over to a trustworthy person in Istanbul.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, had been living in the US since 2017 and was reported missing on October 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.
For more than two weeks, the Saudi side said the journalist had left the consulate. However, on Friday night to Saturday, Riyadh acknowledged that the journalist was actually murdered during a supposed row with officials of the consulate.