Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has directly accused Saudi Arabia of the premeditated murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling it a political killing orchestrated by Saudi officials. Khashoggi was last seen alive entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in Turkey on October 2. Erdogan said a team of Saudi officials had planned Khashoggi’s murder days in advance. During a speech in the Turkish parliament today, Erdogan called for the Saudi suspects to be tried in Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “And now there is official acknowledgment that there was a murder. Where is the body? Why do we still not have the body? If the information that the body was given to a local cooperator, co-conspirator—and this is information by an authority, by the way—now my question is: Who is this local co-conspirator?”
President Erdogan’s remarks directly contradict Saudi Arabia’s claim that Khashoggi died during a “fistfight” in the consulate. Turkish officials have claimed that audio and video recordings show Saudi officials used a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi’s body, but Erdogan made no mention of any recordings of the killing.
In the wake of Khashoggi’s murder, Agence France-Presse is reporting that exiled critics of Saudi Arabia have shared stories of apparent Saudi attempts to lure them to their local embassies—where they feared they might be kidnapped or killed.