Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan said he will be keeping a close eye on the case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who vanished after visiting the consulate in Istanbul last week.
Now, Turkish officials say they have 'concrete information' that Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate six days ago and his body was clandestinely moved out. Erdogan said on Sunday that he will be following the case closely and is hoping for a positive outcome, adding how authorities will be monitoring all camera records and airport transits.
Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Erdogan, told Reuters on Sunday that Turkish authorities believed a group of 15 Saudi nationals were "most certainly involved" in the matter.
The Washington Post called the murder claims a "monstrous and unfathomable act."
Khashoggi, who was a harsh critic of the Saudi regime, visited the consulate to prepare paperwork for his forthcoming marriage to his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside. When he didn’t return, she raised the alarm.
A former newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and adviser to its former head of intelligence, Khashoggi left the country last year saying he feared retribution for his growing criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent. In the past year, Khashoggi has been living in exile in Washington, DC and wrote for The Washington Post.
In a statement published earlier today about Khashoggi’s alleged murder, the paper said:
“If the reports of Jamal’s murder are true, it is a monstrous and unfathomable act," Fred Hiatt, the director of The Washington Post editorial page said in a statement.
“Jamal was – or, as we hope, is – a committed, courageous journalist. He writes out of a sense of love for his country and deep faith in human dignity and freedom. He is respected in his country, in the Middle East and throughout the world. We have been enormously proud to publish his writings.”