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Turkey hopes to enter Saudi consul's home today, minister says

Key Points
  • Turkey hopes to enter the Saudi consul's residence in Istanbul on Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey's foreign minister said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  • Turkish officials have said they believe the journalist was murdered and his body removed, an allegation the Saudis have strongly denied.
  • Khashoggi was a U.S. resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post and he was critical of the Saudi government, calling for reforms.
Human rights activists and friends of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold his pictures during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 8, 2018. 
Murad Sezer | Reuters

Turkey hopes to enter the Saudi consul's residence in Istanbul on Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey's foreign minister said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Turkish officials have said they believe the journalist was murdered and his body removed, an allegation the Saudis have strongly denied. Khashoggi was a U.S. resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post and he was critical of the Saudi government, calling for reforms.

Turkish police had been expected to search the Saudi consul's Istanbul residence on Tuesday. They did not do so, officers at the scene said late on Tuesday, because Saudi officials were not able to join. Hours earlier, the consul general left Turkey for Riyadh.

"Yesterday evening, unfortunately, police could not search the Saudi consul's residence. The Saudis claimed that the consul's family was inside," Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters after meeting Pompeo.

"We hope the police will enter to the residence today. We have said before that Saudi Arabia must cooperate with us in every aspect without delay."

Cavusoglu, who said the search would extend to the consul's vehicles, said the consul was free to travel home and had not been deported.

He also said talks with Pompeo were "beneficial and fruitful." Pompeo was on a brief visit to Turkey after having met with the Saudi king, crown prince and foreign minister in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Turkish crime scene investigators carried out a nine-hour search of the consulate on Monday night in an investigation to look into what happened to Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2.

"The consul's behavior and approach drew reaction after Khashoggi disappeared," Cavusoglu said — criticising the way the consul behaved in a Reuters tour of the consulate — "especially how he opened the cabinets saying 'look he is not here' as if mocking people, behaving disrespectfully. This was not right."

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World Politics

Suspects in journalist's disappearance had close ties to Saudi prince: NYT

Key Points
  • Several of the suspects who were identified by Turkish officials in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi had close ties to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
  • One suspect, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, has been photographed traveling abroad with the crown prince over the years.
  • Three others have served as part of the crown prince's security team.