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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 October 2018

Turkey asks to search Saudi consulate where Jamal Khashoggi was last seen

Turkish authorities have spoken to the Saudi ambassador a second time

A Saudi official closes a door at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, were Mr Khashoggi is believed to have gone missing. EPA
A Saudi official closes a door at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, were Mr Khashoggi is believed to have gone missing. EPA

Turkey has asked to search Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen.

Ankara’s search request was made after the Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned the Saudi ambassador for a second time over the journalist’s disappearance.

A Turkish diplomatic source confirmed yesterday that the Saudi envoy had met Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal.

“The ambassador was told that we expected full co-operation during the investigation,” the source said.

The ambassador was first summoned to the ministry on Wednesday.

At the weekend, Turkish officials said they believed Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was personally following the case.

The consulate is Saudi territory and any search of the building would be an unusual break in diplomatic protocol.

Khashoggi, 59, went to the consulate for some documents before marrying his Turkish fiancee. Istanbul police said he never left the building as there was no security footage of his departure.

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Police said 15 Saudi nationals arrived in Istanbul on two planes and were inside the consulate building the day Mr Khashoggi went missing. The report did not say when the Saudis had arrived.

The consulate insists that Khashoggi left its premises.

Saudi Arabia rejected the claims that the journalist was killed in the consulate as “baseless”, and said the building would be opened to Turkish police.

Mr Erdogan said that investigators were looking at camera records and airport passenger lists, but added that Turkey would wait for the prosecutors’ results before going into more detail.

“God willing, we will not be faced with a situation we do not desire,” he said when asked about Khashoggi.