This is what Turkey President Erdogan has to say about Khashoggi death
Ankara, Oct 24: The diplomatic crisis encircling the mysterious disappearance of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi intensified further on Tuesday, October 23, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the 59-year-old was the victim of a "gruesome murder" which was planned several days earlier. Speaking to his country's parliament, Erdogan also requested the extradition of 18 Saudi officials suspected of murdering Khashoggi.
Erdogan said in his speech that Turkish investigators were still trying to find answer as to who had ordered Khashoggi's murder on October 2 and said the probe should reach the highest levels of the government in Riyadh.
"We have some information that the murder was pre-planned, not instantaneous. It is clear that this operation did not happen at the drop of a dime, it was a planned operation," the Turkish president said.
"On whose orders have these people come? We are seeking answers. Leaving some intelligence and security forces holding the bag will not satisfy either us or the international community."
Erdogan also sought open cooperation from Saudi Arabia's King Salman and his government on the issue. He said the critical investigation into the issue should be carried out by an impartial body which is not related to the killing.
Erdogan's words came in the wake of increasing international pressure on Riyadh over the killing of the journalist after seven out of 15 suspects named by Turkey were divulged by Middle East Eye (MEE) to those who have been members of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's personal security team.
On Monday, October 22, the MEE also revealed the existence of a hit squad set up by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to targets dissidents both within and outside the border of Saudi Arabia.
Erdogan also said that the members of the hit squad had been told about Khashoggi's appointment after he visited the consulate on the Friday prior to his death and asked to come back the following week.