"Not Sincere": Khashoggi's Fiancé Refuses U.S. Visit Despite Trump's Apology
Turkey has intensified its demands for Saudi Arabia to extradite 18 suspects in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a call that is likely to be met with resistance from the kingdom and could escalate tensions.
Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cenzig, has given a tearful TV interview and explained why she will not be visiting President Donald Trump in the U.S.
"Trump invited me to the United States during the first days of the process. But his statements had very short time periods in between and they were contradictory," she told Mehmet Akif Ersoy, the anchor of Turkish TV channel HaberTurk.
Cenzig believes the sympathies given by Trump were not offered with sincerity.
" I perceived it as a statement to win the sympathy of the public. That's how I understood it," she said.
Cenzig also spoke about her pain since her fiancee disappeared after entering the consulate, and said she keeps asking herself if she should have prevented her partner from entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
"I found myself in a darkness I cannot express," Cengiz said.
She described how she had accompanied Khashoggi, 59, to the consulate and waited outside while, she thought, he was getting paperwork for their planned marriage. He never came out.
"I still have questions that I cannot answer," said Cengiz, who shed tears at times in the interview.
"Did I miss something? Did I not notice something?"
The Istanbul chief prosecutor's office submitted a request for Saudi Arabia to hand over the suspects in the killing, and Turkey's Foreign Ministry will formally notify the kingdom, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.
The Saudi government has said it arrested and would itself punish 18 people for what it described as a rogue operation by officials who killed Khashoggi in the consulate.
"We expect our request (for the suspects') return to be fulfilled because this atrocious event took place in Turkey," said Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul.
Turkish prosecutors want the suspects to face prosecution for "premeditated killing executed with fiendish sentiments or by causing torment", according to the Anadolu agency.
"The reasoning behind the extradition request is that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Turkey by Saudi nationals who travelled to Turkey for this specific purpose," a senior Turkish official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Turkey's judicial system is better equipped to serve the cause of justice in this case, the official said.
"The court proceedings in Turkey will be open to international observers in order to ensure the greatest level of transparency," he added.
Turkey alleges a 15-member hit squad was sent to Istanbul to kill the journalist, a one-time Saudi insider who became a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and was a columnist for The Washington Post.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the three others in the group of 18 who were detained in Saudi Arabia were consulate employees.
Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey would reveal more evidence about the killing but was not in any rush to do so.
He added that the Saudis who killed Khashoggi must reveal the location of his body.
Saudi prosecutors have said evidence from Turkey indicates that the killing was premeditated, a change from previous Saudi statements seeking to dodge responsibility for a crime that caused global outrage.