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Turkish President says Khashoggi killing planned 'days in advance'

Erdogan has said the murder was premeditated and those behind it must be held to account.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey.
Image: Lefteris Pitarakis

TURKISH PRESIDENT RECEP Tayyip Erdogan has demanded that those behind the “premeditated murder” of Jamal Khashoggi must be brought before Turkish courts. 

In an address to parliament in Ankara today, the President detailed the investigation into the journalist’s death at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. 

Erdogan said Khashoggi’s murder was “planned by Saudi officials in the days leading up to his death”. 

While admitting that the murder happened technically on Saudi soil, as the consul is considered diplomatic territory, he said it happened “inside Turkey’s borders and as such the investigation would continue”. 

“No stone should be left unturned”

In the speech Erdogan detailed a number of phone conversations both he and US President Donald Trump have held with the Saudi King in relation to Khashoggi’s murder. 

Erdogan said he believes the King is sincere, but said their evidence points directly to the country’s officials. 

He questioned why they had to wait several days before being permitted into the consulate to conduct a search for Khashoggi.

Erdogan also revealed the Saudi consulate surveillance system was deactivated ahead of Khashoggi’s murder.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has said 18 people, 15 who traveled to Istanbul in the days of the murder and three who were already in Turkey, have been arrested and are detained in the home country. 

In his speech Erdogan effectively called for them to be extradited and sent back to face Justice under Turkish and International law. 

He said Turkey must continue its efforts to investigate the murder: 

We will not remain quiet because all steps should be taken. No stone should be left unturned.

Erdogan offered his condolences to Khashoggi’s Turkish fiance, family, friends and journalistic colleagues. 

He highlighted that the nature of Khashoggi’s work means there is greater responsibility on Turkey to investigate his murder. 

The fact that Jamal Khashoggi  was a prominent journalist gives us responsibility that we have to continue this investigation on humanitarian grounds.

President Erdogan had earlier promised to reveal the “naked truth” of the murder. 

He also asked why  Khashoggi’s are missing in the wake of his murder: 

Why have those 15 people got together in Istanbul that day? Why and who instructed these people? Why was the general consul not made open for an immediate search? Why were all these different statements made. Why is the corpse of a murdered person still missing?

Khashoggi has not been seen since arriving at the consul to arrange paperwork for his marriage to his fiance. 

 

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Aisling O'Rourke

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