Turkey, Politics

'Turkey hopes to enter Saudi consul residence today'

Search in consul's residence did not happen last night due to claims that family was inside, says foreign minister

'Turkey hopes to enter Saudi consul residence today'

By Merve Aydogan


Turkish foreign minister on Wednesday reiterated the need for cooperation from Saudi officials regarding the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi probe.

"Unfortunately, the search at the residence [of the Saudi consul general] did not happen last night. Saudis claimed that his [consul's] family was inside," said Mevlut Cavusoglu addressing members of the media following his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ankara.

"We are hoping to enter the residence today," he said.

The search will not only be held at the residence but also be conducted on the vehicles belonging to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, he added.

Cavusoglu once more asserted that Saudi Arabia must cooperate with Turkey in all matters regarding the missing journalist probe.

Following permission for a search of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkish and Saudi officials are to search the residence of the consul concerning the case of the missing journalist.

Amid the ongoing investigation of Khashoggi however, Saudi Arabia's Consul General in Istanbul Mohammad al-Otaibi left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday.

Khashoggi has long been feared killed at the consulate after he entered the Saudi Consulate building in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and was never seen exiting.

Regarding Turkey-U.S. relations after releasing Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in December 2016 over alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- the group behind a defeated coup earlier that year --, Cavusoglu noted that Turkey and the U.S. are on same page regarding lifting of sanctions and other related matters.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo during their meeting on Wednesday that Turkey is ready to "eliminate terrorists in Syria's Manbij if the U.S. is facing difficulties," said Cavusoglu.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is in the northeast of Aleppo province in northern Syria.

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