Turkey summons Saudi ambassador over missing journalist Khashoggi

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An adviser to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday he believed prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing for six days, was killed in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.

Once an adviser to the royal family, he had fallen sharply out of favour with the Saudi government and went into self-imposed exile past year.

The journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, went missing October 2 after he visited the Saudi Consulate to complete paperwork needed to marry his Turkish fiancee. "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying "he has left", Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest.

David Rohde, executive editor of The New Yorker tweeted out, "The journalist Jamal Khashoggi had said that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has 'no tolerance or willingness to accommodate critics'".

A Turkish government source told AFP that police believed Khashoggi was killed at the Istanbul consulate, which Riyadh strongly denied.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Saudi Arabia has the responsibility to prove its claim that a missing Saudi journalist left the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

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The Saudi authorities say Mr Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after entering to collect some official paperwork. We're also joined by Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, who knew Khashoggi and is the author of "Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S. -Saudi Connection".

Reuters then contacted Turkish security requesting a comment on the matter, and according to Turkish reports, the agency was informed that there was no other reasonable theory to explain his absence, other than Khashoggi being killed inside the consulate and his body being removed from the premises.

A demonstrator holds picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Khashoggi, who left Saudia Arabia in 2017, entered the consulate last Tuesday to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage while his Turkish fiancée waited outside. "I personally think the possibility of him being killed is stronger than other possibilities, although I do not want to accept it".

The potential assassination of a journalist on foreign soil raises questions over how the United States will confront Saudi Arabia, an ally the Trump administration has made significant outreach to.

Erdogan also said police officers were examining CCTV footage of entrances and exits at the consulate and Istanbul airport.

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In a Bloomberg interview conducted on Wednesday and published on Friday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman claimed that Khashoggi "entered" the consulate and "got out after a few minutes or one hour".

"Our officials [in the Turkish government] should investigate the issue and share it with the public", Yılmaz said.

Reacting to the news, the journalist's Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, said on Twitter she was "waiting for an official confirmation from the Turkish government to believe it".

The Saudi writer spent past year in the U.S.in self-imposed exile, after he fled the kingdom amid a crackdown on intellectuals and activists who criticized the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia launched a modernisation campaign following Prince Mohammed's appointment as heir to the throne with moves such as lifting a ban on women driving.

In his writings for the Washington Post, the Saudi commentator criticised Saudi policies towards Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen and the crackdown on dissent and the media in the kingdom.

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But Haytham Abokhalil, an Istanbul-based Egyptian presenter at Al-Sharq TV, said supporters wanted "strong action" from Erdogan.