Turkey summons Saudi envoy over missing writer

07 October, 2018, 05:11 | Author: Carlos George
  • Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi feared kidnapped while visiting consulate in Turkey

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Ankara told Turkish officials that he had no information about Khashoggi, broadcaster NTV reported on Thursday. "We have reached out to anyone we think might be able to help locate him and assure his safety, including U.S., Turkish and Saudi officials".

Turkish authorities have summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Ankara over the disappearance of prominent Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he visited the kingdom's consulate in Turkey's largest city of Istanbul.

The statement comes after a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters Wednesday night that authorities believed the journalist was still there. "We do not have information revealing the contrary", he said.

She said Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to obtain documents for their own marriage to prove he was not married. He was also required to surrender his mobile phone - which is standard practice in some embassies and consulates.

He said contacts were continuing to "overcome the problem".

"I don't know what's happening. And if he did exit, we have no news of him", his fiancee, who declined to be identified, was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

"We are certain that Jamal is being held inside", the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, Turan Kislakci, told AFP.

Khashoggi has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States and is an established critic of the Saudi government - particularly the reform plans championed by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

After Saudi authorities arrested a group of women's rights activists in May, Khashoggi wrote that the "crackdown has shocked even the government's most stalwart defenders".

Kalin raised concerns about the legality of the apparent detention, saying that Khashoggi's disappearance "has a dimension of global law".

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Jamal Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post, entered the building in Istanbul on Tuesday afternoon.

Khashoggi's disappearance threatens to further deteriorate relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which are on the opposite sides in the four-nation boycott of Qatar and other regional crises.

"Jamal and I have not seen eye to eye on many issues but having him go missing like this is bad", he said.

As a journalist, he interviewed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden several times in Afghanistan and Sudan, and served twice as editor of Al Watan newspaper.

Khashoggi maintained ties with Saudi elite and launched a satellite news channel, Al-Arab, from Bahrain in 2015 with the backing of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. The channel was on air for less than 11 hours before it was shut down.

"Presently, Saudi citizens no longer understand the rationale behind the relentless wave of arrests", Khashoggi wrote in an August 7 column.

Scores of businessmen were detained last November in Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel in a separate campaign against corruption, unnerving some foreign investors.

The statement released by the state-run Saudi Press Agency did not elaborate.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said the Saudi's disappearance was a cause for alarm "given the Saudi authorities' pattern of quietly detaining critical journalists".

Khashoggi himself advocated for more social freedoms in the kingdom in his columns at the Post.

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