Saudi Journalist Disappears in Saudi Consulate in Turkey

A well known Saudi Journalist by the name of Jamal Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on a routine paperwork matter, and apparently has not re-emerged since.
Saudi Arabia denies holding missing Washington Post columnist | CBC News
Turkey's foreign ministry has summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador for consultations over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkish sources said on Thursday.
The journalist apparently wrote articles critical of the Saudi government for the Washington Post (and perhaps other papers as well) and had left Saudi Arabia last year for the US out of concern for his safety due to his writing. The Saudis claim they don't know where he is, but the Turkish government say they believe he is still inside.
They said the Saudi envoy was called in on Wednesday to clarify the whereabouts of Khashoggi, a critic of Riyadh's foreign policy and its crackdown on dissent who left Saudi Arabia last year saying he feared retribution for his views.

The Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul says Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post, left its building before disappearing, directly contradicting Turkish officials who say they believe the writer is still inside.
Khashoggi is apparently not a fan of the new order under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The comments further deepen the mystery surrounding what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, who had been living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. while writing columns critical of the kingdom and its policies under upstart Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Khashoggi's disappearance is apparently making the currently cool relations between Ankara and Riyadh even chillier.
Khashoggi's apparent disappearance also threatened to further deteriorate relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which are on opposite sides of a four-nation boycott of Qatar and other regional crises.
Khashoggi, due to be married next week, had given his cell phone to his fiancée to hang onto while he went into the embassy. Apparently this is considered normal in the Middle East.
On Tuesday, Khashoggi entered the consulate to get paperwork he needed in order to be married next week, said his fiancée, Hatice, who gave only her first name for fear of retribution. He gave her his mobile phones for safekeeping, something common as embassies throughout the Middle East routinely require phones to be left outside as a security precaution.
The Washington Post are apparently pulling strings wherever they can in an effort to find him.
The Post said it was "extremely concerned" about Khashoggi.
"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," the Post's editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, said in a statement.
Khashoggi was well known for his reporting about major events and had contacts with many important and highly placed people.
Khashoggi was known for his interviews and travels with Osama bin Laden between 1987 and 1995, including in Afghanistan, where he wrote about the battle against the Soviet occupation. In the early 1990s, he tried to persuade bin Laden to reconcile with the Saudi royal family and return home from his base in Sudan, but the al-Qaeda leader refused.
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 aired less than 11 hours before it was shut down. Its billionaire backer was detained in the Ritz Carlton roundup overseen by Prince Mohammed in 2017.
While writing for the Washington Post, he wrote critical articles about Saudi Arabia with respect to the war in Yemen, the arrests of women's rights activists, and Saudi Arabia's diplomatic standoff with Canada.
As a contributor to the Post, Khashoggi has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.
Khashoggi's disappearance is widening the diplomatic rift between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, already exacerbated by other problems.
The dispute over Khashoggi's disappearance also threatens to reopen rifts between Ankara and Riyadh. Turkey has supported Qatar amid a yearlong boycott by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over a political dispute. Turkey's support of political Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, also grates leaders in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, which label the organization a "terrorist group" threatening their hereditarily ruled nations.
Various international press associations have called for Saudi Arabia to release Khashoggi.
Press freedom groups have decried Khashoggi's disappearance. The Vienna-based International Press Institute wrote a letter to Saudi King Salman calling on the monarch to ensure Khashoggi's immediate release.
"If, as it claims, Saudi Arabia truly wishes to transition to a more open society, it will have to accept the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press," wrote Ravi R. Prasad, the institute's head of advocacy.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists also expressed concern, saying "given the Saudi authorities' pattern of quietly detaining critical journalists, Khashoggi's failure to emerge from the Saudi consulate on the day he entered is a cause for alarm."

The new order in Saudi Arabia under bin Salman have not been tolerant of dissent but if they are responsible for this latest incident then kidnapping journalists abroad is taking it a step beyond even what we have come to expect from them lately. If they have Khashoggi, it is possible that they may have had this well planned and whisked him out of the country on a private jet before the hue and cry could be raised. If so, then he may be quietly disappeared never to be seen again. This could be a harbinger of yet more to come.
 
The Turks have other fish to fry
The US oil dollars will override the requirement to do anything

Sad, but the reality of life if you piss off the Saud House
 
This week's diplomatic bag will be strangely head shaped.
How oddly prescient of you. Turkish police believe Saudi journalist was killed in consulate | CBC News
The Turkish police believe that Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate and his body removed.
Turkish authorities believe that prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared four days ago after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, was killed inside the consulate, two Turkish sources said on Saturday.
"The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr. Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate," one of the two Turkish officials told Reuters.
The Turks report that a group of 15 Saudis arrived in Istanbul in two planes, entered the consulate on the same day as Khashoggi, and then left the country.
A Turkish security source told Reuters that a group of 15 Saudi nationals, including some officials, had arrived in Istanbul in two planes and entered the consulate on the same day Khashoggi was there, and later left the country.
The Turkish source said Turkish officials were trying to identify them. Turkey's Anadolu news agency also reported that the group of Saudis were briefly at the consulate.
The Saudis have said they will now allow the Turks to search the consulate for Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said this week that the kingdom would allow Turkey to search the consulate for Khashoggi.
On Saturday the Saudi consulate allowed journalists to view the inside of the consulate to show that Khashoggi was not there.
On Saturday Saudi Arabia's consul-general in Istanbul, Mohammad al-Otaibi, opened up his mission to Reuters to show that Khashoggi was not on the premises, and said talk of his abduction was ungrounded.

Opening cupboards, filing cabinets and wooden panels covering air conditioning units, Otaibi walked through the six floors of the building including a basement prayer room, offices, visa counters, kitchens and toilets as well as storage and security rooms.
The consulate had security cameras, but for reasons which were not explained did not record any footage so there was nothing from them to show Khashoggi entering or leaving.
He said the consulate was equipped with cameras but they did not record footage, so no images could be retrieved of Khashoggi entering or leaving the consulate, which is ringed by police barriers and has high security fences topped with barbed wire.
A highly placed Turkish spokesman said that Turkey did not find Saudi Arabia's explanation convincing, and more or less called the defacto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a liar.
On Saturday, Yasin Aktay, Erdogan's AK Party adviser and a friend of Khashoggi, told Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera: "We demand a convincing clarification from Saudi Arabia, and what the crown prince offered is not convincing."
The Turkish spokesman said that what happened to Khashoggi was a crime and that those responsible must be tried. Turkish prosecutors have opened an investigation into the affair.
He also said what happened to Khashoggi was a crime and those responsible for his disappearance must be tried, Al Jazeera said.
Turkish prosecutors have begun an investigation into the case, officials said on Saturday, and a spokesperson for Erdogan's AK Party said authorities would uncover his whereabouts.
"The condition of the lost journalist, details on him and who is responsible for this will be uncovered," Omer Celik said.
Khashoggi was a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia and of bin Salman in particular, saying he dispense selective justice and was intolerant.
Two months later, writing about the detentions of scores of Saudi royals, senior officials and businessmen accused of corruption, he said Mohammed bin Salman dispensed "selective justice" and said there was "complete intolerance for even mild criticism" of the crown prince.
Khashoggi was/is a journalist for the Washington Post and had many highly placed contacts in the Middle East.

The parallels between this case and that of the Skripal case in the UK are quite interesting. In both cases it is alleged that a foreign government sent agents to murder an exiled minor critic or annoyance on the territory of a NATO state. The Khashoggi case has the additional seriousness of the alleged victim being a journalist for a major western newspaper (the Washington Post), perhaps showing an intent of intimidating journalists in the western media who criticize Saudi Arabia.

It will be interesting to see if the same sort of diplomatic response will be organized on behalf of the Khashoggi as it was for the Skripal case. At the moment however any reaction is premature until further investigation has been conducted.
 
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Deleted 60082

Guest
Of course there is delicious irony in this case, given how journalists are an endangered species in Turkey. Ibrihim Kalin, a Svengali-like spokesman for Erdogan ( but the de facto national security adviser) stated that the Turkish government believe that the journalist is still in the consulate in Istanbul. In return Saudi government will allow Turkish authorities to search the consulate. The journalist’s fiancee is also Turkish, and this case gives Turkey a valid excuse to have a go at Saudi Arabia.
 
Of course there is delicious irony in this case, given how journalists are an endangered species in Turkey. Ibrihim Kalin, a Svengali-like spokesman for Erdogan ( but the de facto national security adviser) stated that the Turkish government believe that the journalist is still in the consulate in Istanbul. In return Saudi government will allow Turkish authorities to search the consulate. The journalist’s fiancee is also Turkish, and this case gives Turkey a valid excuse to have a go at Saudi Arabia.
It this was a journalist for a Turkish newspaper who had disappeared in the Saudi consulate it probably wouldn't be making the news here. However, this is a journalist for a major American newspaper, the Washington Post. If he has been murdered or kidnapped then it would suggest that the Saudis see western journalists as fair game, even in major NATO cities. This is what would be significant.

The Saudis have been acting more erratically and boldly lately, witness their threats against Qatar (news reports said that the US had to restrain them from invasion), their disproportionate response to fairly mild criticism from Canada with respect to the treatment of relatives in Saudi Arabia of Canadian citizens, and now possibly sending out hit squads abroad to murder journalists for western media.

I would be very relieved to see Khashoggi turn up in Turkey alive and well, but I find the recent pattern of behaviour from Saudi Arabia to be quite concerning.

I realize that Turkey themselves are not a bastion of the free press at the moment, but we already have other threads where that is being actively discussed. To put this in perspective, if Erdogan started sending hit squads to say Rome to kill journalists for UK newspapers who were critical of him, you might find that to be a bit concerning, to say the least.

As I said, I hope that there is another explanation for all of this, but at the moment things are looking rather alarming.
 
And these people are our 'Friends'. Oil and money force us into some odd moral compromises.
Edit: A major 'Christ' from me on learning that the US may have restrained the KSA from invading Qatar.
Re. KSA recklessness, the apparent forced removal and 'resignation' (apparently, demanded more or less at gunpoint) of the Lebanese Pm by KSA received far less attention than it deserved.
'Robert Fisk adds that when Hariri's airplane landed in Riyadh's airport, he saw himself surrounded by police forces, who confiscated his cellphone and those of his bodyguards.[15] According to an American official cited by the New Yorker, Hariri was then kept in Saudi custody for eleven hours, put in a chair with Saudi officials repeatedly slapping him.[17] The treatment has been provoked by Saudi's disappointment with Hariri due to his failure to confront Hezbullah in Lebanon which came to a head when Hariri received Ali Akbar Velayati, a high-ranking advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader, and posed with smile for photo with him.'
This treatment was of a foreign prime minister!!
 
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And these people are our 'Friends'. Oil and money force us into some odd moral compromises.
Edit: A major 'Christ' from me on learning that the US may have restrained the KSA from invading Qatar.
Re. KSA recklessness, the apparent forced removal and 'resignation' (apparently, demanded more or less at gunpoint) of the Lebanese Pm by KSA received far less attention than it deserved.
'Robert Fisk adds that when Hariri's airplane landed in Riyadh's airport, he saw himself surrounded by police forces, who confiscated his cellphone and those of his bodyguards.[15] According to an American official cited by the New Yorker, Hariri was then kept in Saudi custody for eleven hours, put in a chair with Saudi officials repeatedly slapping him.[17] The treatment has been provoked by Saudi's disappointment with Hariri due to his failure to confront Hezbullah in Lebanon which came to a head when Hariri received Ali Akbar Velayati, a high-ranking advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader, and posed with smile for photo with him.'
This treatment was of a foreign prime minister!!
Yeah, that is messed up. Though he is technically a Saudi citizen as well (apart from Lebanese and French).
 

CatsEyes

War Hero
While Saudi has the oil, they will have power. If the flow of oil dried up, they will have little to offer the world.
 
While Saudi has the oil, they will have power. If the flow of oil dried up, they will have little to offer the world.
In this country, you gotta drill the oil first. Then when you get the oil money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you control the women. - quote from the movie Shariaface
 
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Deleted 60082

Guest
It this was a journalist for a Turkish newspaper who had disappeared in the Saudi consulate it probably wouldn't be making the news here. However, this is a journalist for a major American newspaper, the Washington Post. If he has been murdered or kidnapped then it would suggest that the Saudis see western journalists as fair game, even in major NATO cities. This is what would be significant.

The Saudis have been acting more erratically and boldly lately, witness their threats against Qatar (news reports said that the US had to restrain them from invasion), their disproportionate response to fairly mild criticism from Canada with respect to the treatment of relatives in Saudi Arabia of Canadian citizens, and now possibly sending out hit squads abroad to murder journalists for western media.

I would be very relieved to see Khashoggi turn up in Turkey alive and well, but I find the recent pattern of behaviour from Saudi Arabia to be quite concerning.

I realize that Turkey themselves are not a bastion of the free press at the moment, but we already have other threads where that is being actively discussed. To put this in perspective, if Erdogan started sending hit squads to say Rome to kill journalists for UK newspapers who were critical of him, you might find that to be a bit concerning, to say the least.

As I said, I hope that there is another explanation for all of this, but at the moment things are looking rather alarming.
Turkey is doing the right thing in this case. President Erdogan is keen to repair relations with the US and this is a convenient de facto matter in which to do so. Turkey is implacably opposed to what is happening in Saudi Arabia, and has been actively supporting Qatar politically, logistically, militarily in the face of these Saudi threats. In return Qatar has been helping to stabilise the Turkish economy with huge injections of cash. Qatar first did this on the 16-18th July 2016 in an effort to stabilise the financial markets in the wake of the coup attempt in Turkey. Turkey remains very grateful to Qatar.
 
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Deleted 60082

Guest
While Saudi has the oil, they will have power. If the flow of oil dried up, they will have little to offer the world.
This is more than just about oil. Saudi Arabia is proselytising Islam in a direct threat to the new piety in Turkey, and President Erdogan’s aim to be the leader of the (modern) Islamic world. Althoug both countries follow Sunni Islam, Turkey’s approach is much more moderate but much more political, with Erdogan embracing the Muslim Brotherhood, which has seen him also fall out with Egypt and UAE.
 
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Saudi journalist Khashoggi was killed in consulate, Turkish sources say | Reuters
Interestingly, his fiancé is reported as saying she doesn’t (so far) believe he was killed. Whether she is being coerced remains to be seen:
Khashoggi’s fiancee could not immediately be contacted but she said in a Tweet that there had been no official confirmation of the Turkish sources’ statements. “Jamal was not killed and I do not believe he was killed,” Hatice Cengiz posted.
There’s a lot going on between Turkey and KSA at the moment and it’s likely that one or both will use this to their advantage. Allowing the Consulate to be searched shows some willingness at least.
 

4(T)

LE
Allowing the Consulate to be searched shows some willingness at least.

If, as speculated, he was offed, bagged up, and immediately removed from the premises in a pre-planned operation, then this offer of "openness" would be disingenuous and designed to spike the investigation. I imagine that the Saudis will hardly allow a forensic examination, conduct interogations of staff, or hand over CCTV footage (if it wasn't already deleted or switched off).

When the Turks don't find Mr K sat there drinking tea in the canteen, the Saudis will be able to shrug their shoulders and say "nuffink to do with us".
 
If, as speculated, he was offed, bagged up, and immediately removed from the premises in a pre-planned operation, then this offer of "openness" would be disingenuous and designed to spike the investigation. I imagine that the Saudis will hardly allow a forensic examination, conduct interogations of staff, or hand over CCTV footage (if it wasn't already deleted or switched off).

When the Turks don't find Mr K sat there drinking tea in the canteen, the Saudis will be able to shrug their shoulders and say "nuffink to do with us".
I don’t think it’s disingenuous personally. But then neither country is exactly up front with everything that’s going on. So far the Turkish accusers seem to be unnamed. So far his fiancé doesn’t think he’s dead.

If we applied U.K. standards of investigation we’d be looking at warrants, interviews etc. So far we’ve just seen what the Turk’s and Saud’s say and on Sky a bit of a chat and looking round the Consulate.
 

Deserter

Old-Salt
The Russians gassing people on British soil, the Chinese kidnapping (its) head of Interpol and people getting killed in their own embassy all this is happening because of what is happening in America, while they are fighting like rats in a sack the world is turning on its head......its not hard to imaging that this period is our 1930's!
 

mrdude

War Hero
And while countries like the UK are willing fall over themselves to sell them arms or to provide a safe and willing home for the dirty money of Russian oligarchs.
OK lets get this straight - don't blame the country, just blame the arms manufacturer/dealers and the dodgy political system that allows this. It's got fook all to do with 99.9% (probably higher) of the population - which make up the country.
 
It's interesting to read this thread right after the Salisbury one.
 
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Deleted 60082

Guest
If we applied U.K. standards of investigation we’d be looking at warrants, interviews etc. So far we’ve just seen what the Turk’s and Saud’s say and on Sky a bit of a chat and looking round the Consulate.
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 applies to Saudi diplomats and consular (A&T) staff... but not to locally-employed staff, who remain subject to Receiving State laws. Turkey has targeted LECs from the US embassy; there is all likelihood that the Turkish Foreign Ministry will pick off the low-handing fruit to make political mileage out of this.
 

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