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5 Oct, 2018 14:32

Turkey summons Saudi Arabia envoy over disappearance of dissident journalist

Turkey summons Saudi Arabia envoy over disappearance of dissident journalist

It’s said that all a dissident Saudi journalist wanted was to get hold of some documents to marry his fiancée when he entered Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, but three days later Jamal Khashoggi is yet to reemerge.

In what looks increasingly like a John le Carré plot, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said the Saudi ambassador had been “invited” to the ministry to discuss the whereabouts of the journalist, who gained a reputation for his fierce criticism of the Crown Prince’s regime.

According to his fiancée, Khashoggi, 59, felt “stressed and sad” about having to go the embassy, but it was a necessary trip for him to get hold of paperwork needed for the couple to tie the knot.

The 36-year-old woman said her husband-to-be left his phone with her for safekeeping as embassies across the Middle East require people to surrender their mobile phones as a security precaution. He also told her to get in touch with an advisor of Turkish President Recep Erdogan if he failed to show up again.

She described how she began to panic as Khashoggi had still not emerged hours after going in.

“I don’t know what has happened to him. I can’t even guess how such a thing can happen to him,” Khashoggi’s fiancée told AP.

“There is no law or lawsuit against him. He is not a suspect, he has not been convicted. There is nothing against him. He is just a man whose country doesn’t like his writings or his opinions.”

But Saudi Arabia’s consulate insists Khashoggi had left the precinct before disappearing.

A statement released by the consulate on Thursday said the diplomatic body is working alongside Turkish authorities to “uncover the circumstances of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he left the consulate building.”

A spokesperson for Erdogan told reporters that authorities believed the Khashoggi is still there.

“According to the information we have, this person who is a Saudi citizen is still at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul,” Ibrahim Kalin told AP. “We don’t have information to the contrary.”

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