Turkey Won't Allow 'Cover-Up' Of Khashoggi Killing
Turkey will "never allow a cover-up" of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey's ruling party says.
Deputy Head of the Justice and Development Party Numan Kurtulmus's pledge comes after Saudi Arabia announced hours earlier that the journalist died during a "fistfight" in its consulate.
"It's not possible for the Saudi administration to wiggle itself out of this crime if it's confirmed," Kurtulmus said on Saturday.
He said Turkey would share its evidence of Khashoggi's killing with the world and that a "conclusive result" of the investigation is close.
Another Turkish ruling party official also criticised Saudi Arabia, saying the kingdom should have given its explanation "before the situation reached this point".
Leyla Sahin Usta, a human rights official in the ruling party, said it would have been "more valuable" if Saudi officials had earlier admitted that Khashoggi was killed in its diplomatic post.
Saudi Arabia initially denied any knowledge of the disappearance of Khashoggi, who vanished after entering its consulate on October 2.
But early on Saturday, it admitted that he was killed there and said 18 Saudi suspects were in custody and intelligence officials had been fired.
The overnight announcements in Saudi state media came more than two weeks after Khashoggi, 59, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancee, and never came out.
They also contradicted assertions in Turkish media leaks that Khashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered inside the consulate, claims the kingdom had rejected as "baseless".
But growing international pressure and comments by US officials up to President Donald Trump forced the kingdom to acknowledge Khashoggi's death.
While it fired officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia stopped short of implicating the heir-apparent of the world's largest oil exporter.
King Salman, his father, appointed him to lead a committee that will restructure the kingdom's intelligence services after Khashoggi's slaying. Beyond its statements attributed to anonymous officials, Saudi Arabia offered no evidence to support its claims of what happened to Khashoggi.
"God have mercy on you my love Jamal, and may you rest in Paradise," Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, tweeted following the Saudi announcements.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is "deeply troubled" by the confirmation of the violent death of Khashoggi, a spokesman said.
Guterres "stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's death and full accountability for those responsible," spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
In a statement on Friday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the US will closely follow international investigations into Khashoggi's death and will advocate for justice that is "timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process".
Trump meanwhile called the Saudi announcement a "good first step", but said what happened to Khashoggi was "unacceptable".