Turkey summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador over writer Jamal Khashoggi's alleged disappearance
A security guard stands behind barriers on a blocked road, leading to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul on Wednesday. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP) October 4 at 10:53 AM
ISTANBUL â" The Turkish foreign ministry summoned Saudi Arabiaâs ambassador to discuss the whereabouts of veteran journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkeyâs state media reported, after he disappeared while visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Ambassador Walid bin Abdul Karim El Khereiji was called to the ministry Wednesday for questions about Khashoggiâs location, the private broadcaster NTV reported from Ankara, the Turkish capital. The ambassador, who met with Turkeyâs deputy forei gn minister, denied having knowledge of Khashoggiâs whereabouts, Thursdayâs news report said.
According to NTV, Khereiji was told that âthe matter should be clarified as soon as possible.â
Khashoggi, a critic of the kingdom's leadership, entered the consulate around 1 p.m. Tuesday, according to his fiancee, who said she accompanied him but waited outside. The fiancee, who asked that her name be withheld, called police when Khashoggi did not emerge at 5 p.m., after the consulate had officially closed.
[Opinion: Post contributor and prominent Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi feared missing in Turkey]
By midnight, there was still no sign of him, according to Turan Kislakci, a friend of Khashoggiâs who stood outside the consulate. âWe have talked with some Turkish authorities and the police,â he said. âI think 100 percent that he is inside.â
Spokesmen for the Turkish and Saudi foreign ministries did not respond to requests seeking co mment on Khashoggiâs possible whereabouts.
Khashoggi, a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who writes for The Washington Postâs Global Opinions section, has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year, when he left Saudi Arabia over concerns he would be arrested or prevented from traveling.
âWe have been unable to reach Jamal today and are very concerned about where he may be,â The Postâs international opinions editor, Eli Lopez, had said in a statement. âWe are monitoring the situation closely, trying to gather more information. It would be unfair and outrageous if he has been detained for his work as a journalist and commentator. Jamal is a great writer and insightful political observer, deeply committed to the open exchange of ideas; we are honored to have his point of view be part of our Global Opinions. We hope that he is safe and that we can hear from him soon.â
Khashoggi, who was trying to obtain documents related to a marriage license, had initially visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Friday, his friends said. He went to the consulate and left without incident that day, they added.
After traveling to London over the weekend, he returned to Istanbul on Monday and called the consulate Tuesday morning. He was told to visit at 1 p.m., his friends said.
Over the past year, Khashoggi has written extensively about the growing influence of Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabiaâs young crown prince, and has been critical of some of Mohammedâs policies, including a campaign of arrests targeting perceived opponents and dissidents.
After Saudi authorities arrested a group of womenâs rights activists in May, Khashoggi wrote that the âcrackdown has shocked even the governmentâs most stalwart defenders.â
In a column for The Post last month, he called on Saudi Arabia to use âits clout and leverageâ to end the war in Yemen.
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Zeynep Karatas contributed reporting from Istanbul.Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia