Muslim Times(Web Desk) – An advisor to Turkey’s president has vowed that the country will prosecute all those involved in the suspected kidnapping or murder of a dissident Saudi journalist in Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul, even if it involves the Saudi consul himself.
Yasin Aktay made the comments to the Palestinian Shehab news agency on Tuesday, adding, “Turkey is a state of law and prosecutes anyone who commits crimes in its territory.”
“This will be a file between Saudi Arabia and us,” the Turkish official warned.
On Friday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Turkey could search the consulate for the missing dissident. He claimed that Khashoggi had left the building not long after he entered earlier this week. “If he’s in Saudi Arabia, I would know that.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Saudi officials must prove that Khashoggi had indeed left the mission.
Aktay said bin Salman’s decision to allow the inspection of the building several days after Khashoggi’s disappearance showed “contempt for Turkey.”
He also complained that the Saudi consulate and authorities had ignored Turkish contacts following the disappearance of Khashoggi.
“As if the Saudi authorities were asleep and there was a strange silence at a time when the news of Khashoggi’s disappearance was spread in the world,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association in Turkey, Turan Kislakci has told Shebab that Turkish officials had assured him of Khashoggi having been brutally murdered inside the consulate.
Aktay further said, “To insult the man who comes to the consulate and kill him at your home is one of the worst acts and gravest sins.”
A Turkish forensics team is, meanwhile, poised to enter the premises in Istanbul, the Middle East Eye (MEE) news portal reported.
On Monday, London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi paper said Turkish investigators looking at footage from security cameras at the consulate saw men taking some boxes from the building to a black car following the disappearance.
It said Turkish officials had accused Saudi authorities of killing the 59-year-old inside the facility using a special force sent from Riyadh.
Saudi Consul General, Mohammed al-Otaibi, however, invited journalists into the building on Saturday to try to prove that Khashoggi was not there, saying reports of his detention were false.
Separately, reports surfaced online, saying that Riyadh had expelled the Turkish ambassador over Khashoggi’s case.
In a statement, the Saudi Foreign Ministry reacted to one such report “published in one of the websites” as “totally baseless and false.”