Turkish-Arab journalists: We stand with Khashoggi

A blocked road in Istanbul leads to the Saudi consulate. Jamal Khashoggi a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia's crown prince visited the consulate earlier this week and has not been seen since

Khashoggi, a critic of Riyadh's foreign policy and its crackdown on dissent, left Saudi Arabia previous year saying he feared retribution for his views. Turkey summoned the Saudi ambassador Thursday over the writer's disappearance.

Confusion reigned over his whereabouts on Wednesday when a Saudi official in Washington said that reports of Khashoggi's disappearance were false, and that he had left the consulate shortly after arriving.

On the comments of Trump that the Saudi leadership would survive for two weeks without Washington's support, the crown prince highlighted that Saudi Arabia was there before the United States of America and it's there since 1744.

"Mr. Khashoggi visited the consulate to request paperwork related to his marital status and exited shortly thereafter", the official said.

"The consulate confirmed that it is carrying out follow-up procedures and coordination with the Turkish local authorities to uncover the circumstances of the disappearance", the SPA said. "Until otherwise demonstrated, he is still inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the Saudi authorities are responsible for his safety and well-being", she said in a statement. He is an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia who has dared to defy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, widely believed to the kingdom's de facto ruler.

He said March there was no room left for debate in Saudi Arabia, with citizens rounded up and jailed for questioning the government's policies.

"His criticism, voiced over the past year, most surely rankles Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated to crown prince last year and has carried out a wide-ranging campaign to silence dissent while trying to modernise the kingdom".

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Nobel Peace Prize laureate Yemeni Tawakkol Karman holds a picture of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 5, 2018. All public protests are banned in the kingdom, as are political parties.

Suspicions about Riyadh's involvement in the disappearance are heightened by a number of similar incidents, including the surprise resignation of the Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, past year while he was visiting Saudi Arabia.

He has interviewed Osama bin Laden and criticized the religious elite while editing Saudi's prominent newspaper Al Watan, Al Jazeera reported.

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, has accused Trump of orchestrating the oil price rally by imposing sanctions on Tehran and accused its regional archrival Saudi Arabia of bowing to USA pressure.

As others have noted, this incident will likely heighten existing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Turkey that have been reawakened in light of the GCC rift, in which Turkey has decidedly sided with Qatar, ramping up trade relations and enhancing military ties with the blockaded state.

In the coming days, Saudi government statements will be important in indicating what has happened to Khashoggi and whether Saudi policies towards dissidents overseas may have become more interventionist.

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