Some materials at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared two weeks ago have been painted over, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday.
Speaking after Turkish police entered the consulate for the first time and searched the premises for nine hours, Erdoğan also told reporters that they were looking into toxic materials at the mission.
Turkish officials have told Reuters that authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, and have shared evidence with countries including Saudi Arabia and the United States. Saudi Arabia has denied any role in Khashoggi's disappearance.
UN rights chief Bachelet calls for lifting of immunity in Khashoggi case
U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Saudi Arabia and Turkey on Tuesday to reveal everything they know about the disappearance and possible murder of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said Riyadh should waive immunity on its diplomatic premises and officials.Overnight, Turkish crime scene investigators entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the last place Khashoggi was seen before vanishing on Oct. 2, for the first time and searched the premises for over nine hours, Reuters witnesses said.In a statement, Bachelet welcomed the investigators being given access to the consulate, despite a two-week delay, and called on authorities of both countries to ensure that "no further obstacles are placed in the way of a prompt, thorough, effective, impartial and transparent investigation.”She urged both countries to reveal everything they know about Khashoggi's "disappearance and possible extra-judicial killing."Turkish investigators took necessary evidence from Saudi consulate"Given there seems to be clear evidence that Mr Khashoggi entered the Consulate and has never been seen since, the onus is on the Saudi authorities to reveal what happened to him from that point onwards," she said.Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, Washington Post columnist and leading critic of Prince Mohammed, vanished after entering the consulate to get marriage documents.Turkish officials say they believe he was murdered there and his body removed. CNN and the New York Times reported Saudi Arabia was preparing to acknowledge Khashoggi's death in a botched interrogation, after denying for two weeks any role in his disappearance.Khashoggi’s family calls for international inquiryIt was important to immediately lift immunity for any premises and officials bestowed by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, she added."Under international law, both a forced disappearance and an extra-judicial killing are very serious crimes, and immunity should not be used to impede investigations into what happened and who is responsible," Bachelet said.Her spokesman Rupert Colville said: "We hope the lifting of immunity is absolute so they can investigate, in the consulate, the (consular) residence premise, the vehicles shown on TV footage."US Secretary of state arrives in Riyadh to discuss Khashoggi case
"My hope is that we can reach conclusions that will give us a reasonable opinion as soon as possible, because the investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over," Erdoğan told reporters in Ankara.
A Turkish diplomatic source said the investigators planned to widen their search on Tuesday to the residence of the Saudi consul. Turkish television channels have previously shown footage of a large vehicle leaving the consulate two hours after Khashoggi vanished and parking at the consul's residence.
00:50 dk 16 Ekim 2018 Yeni Şafak Erdoğan: Some materials at Saudi consulate painted over
Speaking after Turkish police entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for the first time and searched the premises for nine hours for evidence regarding Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters that they were looking into toxic materials at the mission. Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and leading critic of the Saudi crown prince, vanished after entering the consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish officials say they believe he was murdered there and his body removed, which the Saudis strongly deny.
Khashoggi’s family calls for international inquiry
The family of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Tuesday called for an international investigation into the circumstances of his disappearance."We are sadly and anxiously following the conflicting news regarding the fate of our father after losing contact with him two weeks ago, when he disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul," the family said in the a statement."Our family is traumatized, and yearns to be together during this painful time."“The strong moral and legal responsibility which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial international commission to inquire into the circumstances of his death,” his family said.Khashoggi has long been feared killed at the consulate after he entered on Oct. 2 and was never seen exiting.U.S. President Donald Trump raised the possibility that "rogue killers" could have been responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance after speaking over the telephone with Saudi King Salman for 20 minutes on Monday.Trump said Salman "firmly denies" any knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance.On Monday, Turkish and Saudi officials arrived at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for a joint probe into Khashoggi's case.On the same day Khashoggi arrived at the consulate, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the building while journalist was also inside, police sources said. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation of Khashoggi’s fate, while several countries -- particularly Turkey, the U.S., and the U.K -- are pressing the case to be cleared up as soon as possible.US Secretary of state arrives in Riyadh to discuss Khashoggi caseSaudi riyal rebounds on report Riyadh to acknowledge Khashoggi deathPompeo to visit Turkey after Riyadh over KhashoggiSaudi Arabia to admit Khashoggi was killed: report
Turkey could take needed steps east of Euphrates
Following two major anti-terror operations in Syria, Turkey’s president warned on Tuesday that Turkey could also take decisive steps against the PKK/YPG terrorist presence east of the Euphrates River.
"If the necessary steps are not taken [by the U.S.] to the east of the Euphrates [against PKK/YPG] ... we will take the necessary steps at the highest level," Erdoğan told his party's parliamentary group.
Erdoğan said that Turkey would take measures in the area "not only for the peace of our country but also for the people living in this region."
US continues to arm PKK terrorists in Syria under the pretext of fighting Daesh
The U.S. seeks to maintain its presence in Syria and continues to arm Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists and its allies under the pretext of the fight the Daesh terror organization, which maintains just a small presence in two villages of Deir ez-Zor.The U.S has supplied the PYD terror organization and its armed wing, the YPG, with thousands of truckloads of weapons to allegedly use in the fight against Daesh, despite Ankara’s warnings that the fact they are the Syrian offshoots of the PKK terror organization.Daesh terrorists have control over two villages across Syria – Hajir and Ishafa- where only 1,500 are stationed in a 150 square-kilometer area.Former Deir ez-Zor Meyadin Council member, Kerem Fireyah, divulged the details about the main aim of the U.S in the region and told Yeni Şafak daily in an exclusive interview that “If they decided to annihilate the Daesh presence, they could do it within two hours.”Russian delegation met with Saudi Arabia Crown Prince to discuss Syrian crisisDaesh threat in the region can be purged within two hoursStressing the U.S’s military capacity and power to put an end to the Daesh threat Fireyah said, “The Deash terror organization only has control over in the villages of Hajir and Ishafa nationwide. There are about 1,500 Daesh terrorists in these two regions and this situation has not changed for 2 years. There was no operation against Daesh there. The U.S., due to its political strategy, ignored the presence of terror elements there. If they decide to annihilate the Daesh presence, they could do it within two hours,” Fireyah said.“The only justification of the U.S to legitimize its presence in the country is Daesh and Washington does not want to lose this trump card. The Assad regime has control over al-Bukemal, Jela, Salihiyye and Meyadin. On the other hand, Suvar, Ziban, Shiheyl, Abu Hamam and Baguz have the U.S-PKK terror elements. There is Daesh in the middle region,” he added.“The U.S has not allowed regime intervention for 2 years, nor has it finished off the presence of Daesh that consists of only two villages.”Daesh and PKK two peas in a pod“Daesh have been procuring all their needs from PYD-occupied areas. With the bombardments against Daesh, civilians are being hit. These attacks are being conducted for civilians to flee the area,” he concluded.PKK extorts money from Manbij locals in fear of looming Turkish opTurkish forces 'neutralize' 6 PKK terrorists in N.Iraq
"Up to now, Turkey has determinedly taken steps, and it will continue to do so," he added, referring to Turkey's cross-border operations in Syria since 2016 -- Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch -- meant to rid border areas of terrorist groups such as the PKK/PYD.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken 40,000 lives, including many women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.
Erdoğan also said the government has prepared the first budget under Turkey's new presidential system.
"We will submit the 2019 budget to parliament tomorrow," he said.
After the Planning and Budget Commission debates the budget, it would then proceed to the general assembly.
Turkey’s MHP demands operation in eastern Euphrates
Turkish opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader on Tuesday demanded an operation against YPG/PKK terrorists in eastern side of Euphrates."The eastern side of Euphrates should no more pose a threat [to Turkey]," Devlet Bahçeli told his party's parliamentary group on Tuesday.Bahçeli recalled Turkey's cross-border operations in Syria -- Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch.Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in August 2016 and ended in March 2017, was aimed at eliminating the terrorist threat along the Turkish border with the use of the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish artillery and air cover.PKK extorts money from Manbij locals in fear of looming Turkish opOn Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from northwestern Syria's Afrin region. On March 18, Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army members liberated the town of Afrin."A more [powerful] operation should be carried out in the eastern side of Euphrates [against YPG/PKK]," said Bahçeli.In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken 40,000 lives, including many women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.Turkish army, FSA stationed at seven points in Syria’s Manbij for military opBahçeli said that Turkey was capable to conduct an operation in the eastern side of Euphrates. "This is the expectation of Turkish nation," he added.In June, the Turkish and U.S. forces began patrols in Syria's Manbij in line with a deal focusing on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city in order to stabilize the region.Turkey neutralizes 25 terrorists in nationwide operations over past week