Saudi consul general leaves Turkey amid journo probe

By Nazli Yuzbasioglu


Saudi Arabia’s Consul General in Istanbul Mohammad al-Otaibi left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday, according to diplomatic sources.

Al-Otaibi departed from Istanbul at 5 p.m. local time (1400GMT) amid an ongoing investigation of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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.

On Oct. 2, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while Khashoggi was still inside, Turkish police sources said. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

His departure comes as Turkish and Saudi officials are preparing to search the residence of the Saudi consul general, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said requesting anonymity.

Saudi Arabia is preparing to admit that it killed missing journalist Khashoggi in an interrogation gone wrong, according to reports published in international and Turkish media on Monday.

Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation of Khashoggi’s fate, as several countries — particularly Turkey, the U.S., and the U.K. — are pressing for the case to be cleared up as soon as possible.