Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Is a diplomatic row awaiting Turkey-Saudi ties?

Is a diplomatic row awaiting Turkey-Saudi ties?

A week after dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul for some routine paperwork, the mystery over his disappearance remains unresolved: Turkish officials allege he was killed in the compound; the Saudis say he left the building unharmed.

The journalist was known for his vocal criticism of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman's foreign policy decisions towards Qatar, Canada, the war in Yemen, as well as his crackdown against dissenting voices in Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, a USA resident for about the past year, has written articles critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"I am concerned about it". Hopefully, that (it) will sort itself out. "Right now, nobody knows anything about it".

Self-exiled Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate and apparently never walking back out.

A Turkish government source has said that police believe the journalist was murdered, a claim denied by Riyadh.

"If he left, you must prove this, you will prove this, even if it's with visuals".

The head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, Turan Kislakci, told the New York Times that Turkish police officers providing security for the consulate had checked their security cameras and did not see the journalist leave on foot.

Turkish officials said Mr Khashoggi was killed on the premises and his body was then removed.

On Tuesday, a picture of a man said to be Khashoggi, entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was shared on social media, allegedly showing him entering shortly before his disappearance.

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Salman said that Khashoggi, who was once close to the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, had "always been honest".

"With these departures and arrivals there were certain people who came from Saudi Arabia", Erdogan said. If they ask for that, of course, we will allow them.

Turkey's foreign ministry on Wednesday summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador over the issue.

Recall that in June of past year, several Arab states - including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE) - broke relations with Qatar and imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar.

From the beginning, Turkey has been highly critical of the blockade and has helped Qatar by sending troops to Qatar in support, and by increasing trade with Qatar, circumventing the blockade.

The organization wrote that Saudi Arabia "channels funds to media organizations all over the world" including the United Kingdom - and that the funding usually takes the form of outright donations or the buying up of thousands of subscriptions, as was the case when a struggling Lebanese TV network adopted a pro-Saudi editorial policy after taking a $2 million bailout from Riyadh.

Reuters Turkey Bureau chief, Dominic Evans was shown around the consulate this weekend as Saudi officials continue to insist that talk of his kidnapping is baseless. "The relations have the potential of evolving into a crisis at any moment", said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the German Marshall Fund's Ankara office. Saudi cooperation is important for Turkey in Syria. "Despite that, we have seen over the last few days various malicious leaks and grim rumors flying around about Jamal's whereabouts and fate", the statement says.

The U.S.so far has said very little. All those issues have been viewed as being pushed by Prince Mohammed, who similarly has led roundups of activists, businessmen and others in the kingdom.

Doors of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

But since the emergence of Prince Mohammed, 33, as the center of power in the kingdom past year, Khashoggi has been openly critical of the monarchy.

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