Turkey has said it is planning to launch an international investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and will take further steps in the coming days.
Speaking at a youth meeting in Istanbul on Monday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia has not shared with Turkey any information from its own probe regarding the Washington Post writer’s murder.
Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed by a Saudi hit squad on October 2 shortly after he entered his country’s consulate in Istanbul. He was dismembered inside the building in what Turkey called a “premeditated murder” orchestrated by the Saudi government.
Saudi officials have countered that claim, insisting Khashoggi died in a “rogue operation” after initially claiming he had left the consulate before vanishing.
Cavusoglu said his country’s investigation had forced Saudi Arabia to recognise the assassination of Khashoggi, and accused Western countries of trying to cover up the crime.
“We see how those, who speak of freedom of press in the world, cover this thing up when they see money,” Cavusoglu said.
“Now we have made preparations for an international probe in the coming days. We will take the necessary steps,” he added, saying Turkey is well aware of the difficulties in shedding light on the murder.
Despite a joint investigation with Saudi officials looking at their consulate in Istanbul, the consul’s residence and several other locations, the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s remains are still unknown.
Ankara has repeatedly asserted the order was issued by the highest levels of the Saudi government and that the Saudi hitmen did not act on their own.
Turkey also demanded that Saudi Arabia extradite those accused of carrying out the murder to be tried in Turkish courts.
The Turkish authorities repeated the request after Riyadh announced early this month the start of the trial of 11 defendants, including five who the Saudi prosecution is seeking the death penalty for.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday his country was still gathering facts to uncover those involved in Khashoggi’s killing.
In a television interview with the US media group, Sinclair, he said the relationship with Saudi Arabia could be maintained and those responsible for Khashoggi’s killing should be held accountable.