Erdogan says strong signs Khashoggi killing was planned
ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that there were strong signs that the killing of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned and that he was killed in a “savage way”.
Erdogan, who was speaking to members of his AK Party in parliament, also said he told Saudi King Salman that the Saudi consul in Istanbul was incompetent and that he was relieved of his duty and returned to his country.
Erdogan added that the 18 people arrested in Saudi Arabia in relation to the killing matches Turkish intelligence on the matter.
On Oct 22, US President Donald Trump had said that he was still not satisfied with what he has heard from Saudi Arabia about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, but did not want to lose investment from Riyadh.
He told reporters that he has teams in Saudi Arabia and Turkey working on the case and would know more about it after they returned to Washington on Monday night or Tuesday.
CIA Director Gina Haspel was travelling to Turkey on Monday to work on the Khashoggi investigation, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
“I am not satisfied with what I’ve heard,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I don’t want to lose all that investment that’s been made in our country. But we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
He later told USA Today that he believed the death was a “plot gone awry.”
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Prince Mohammed who lived in the United States, disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.
Saudi Arabia initially denied knowledge of his fate before saying he had been killed in a fight in the consulate, an explanation that drew scepticism from several Western governments.