Khashoggi's disappearance: Astonishment at false stories

A man enters the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Wednesday

Turkey believes journalist killed in Saudi consulate

Turkish police have concluded that prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi mission in Istanbul after going missing Tuesday, an unnamed government official has said.

The Saudis have offered no surveillance footage or evidence to corroborate their claims that Khashoggi left the consulate, and Turkish authorities have not provided evidence to show why they believe the columnist was killed there.

There, newspapers have called Khashoggi's disappearance a plot ginned up by Qatar, who the kingdom has been boycotting with three other nations since past year. We look at the media and see various reports that make us think about it.

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States has condemned the "outrageous" claims about the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The door Khashoggi walked in through appeared to be the main entrance of the consulate in Istanbul's 4th Levent neighbourhood, a leafy, upscale district near the city's financial hub that's home to several other consulates.

Erdogan said he was personally following the issue, without saying what he believed had happened to Khashoggi.

The New York Times account says its sources report the Saudis "had arrived to silence Mr. Khashoggi, but that it was not clear if the plan had been to bring him back to Saudi Arabia alive, and something went wrong, or if the intention was to kill him there".

"This is a horrific escalation in the crown prince's campaign to silence dissent, to silence any criticism, even the mildest of criticism, from Saudis at home or overseas", says columnist for The Intercept Mehdi Hasan, who is also host of "UpFront" at Al Jazeera English, where he interviewed Khashoggi earlier this year.

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The incident has put into sharp focus Saudi Arabia's young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's perceived crackdown on dissidents, his kingdom's delicate relationship with Turkey and Khashoggi 's influence within the royal court.

A statement released by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited a diplomatic officer who categorically denied "these baseless allegations, and expressed his doubt that they came from Turkish officials that are informed of the investigation or are authorized to comment on the issue", reports Efe news. He also reiterated that Khashoggi had left the building.

On its part, Riyadh has told Turkey to undertake vigorous investigations to unearth the case and may even search the Consulate premises for incriminating evidence. "We want to swiftly get results", he said, adding without explanation: "My expectation is still positive".

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh are at a low point over Turkey's support for Qatar in its year-long dispute with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. "State Department senior officials have spoken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels about this matter", he said. It could cause the US and Europe to reevaluate their relationships with Saudi Arabia, and with Turkish officials so enraged by this, it could trigger a more serious response.

Almost a week since Khashoggi disappeared, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his calls for Riyadh to explain what happened to the high-profile critic of the Saudi leadership. President Erdoğan of Turkey has left no stone unturned to expose Saudi Arabia for the "murder most foul" to assert Turkey's supremacy in the region.

"What we do care about is Jamal's well-being and revealing the truth about what occurred", the ambassador said.

It would also put Britain directly at odds with the crown prince, who is a key United Kingdom ally.

Turkish officials accuse Saudi Arabia of murdering Mr Khashoggi, 59, and dismembering his body.

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