Saudi embassy road in London 'renamed Khashoggi Street'

Perspectives Leon Levy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the order to murder Jamal Khashoggi came from "the highest levels of the Saudi government", blaming the kingdom's authorities directly for the first time since the journalist's murder a month ago.

Aktay's allegations echo those made by an unidentified senior Turkish official, who has claimed that authorities were investigating if acid was used to dissolve the body either on the consulate premises or at a nearby house of the Saudi consul general.

Aktay, who was friend of Khashoggi, said he believes that the body was cut into pieces so that it could be dissolved in chemicals.

The case has provoked worldwide condemnation, but one month after Khashoggi was killed, the joint Turkish and Saudi probe has made little progress and many questions remain unanswered.

Istanbul's chief prosecutor said earlier this week that Khashoggi was strangled upon entering the consulate and then dismembered and disposed of in a premeditated operation.

Turkey's ruling party said on Friday it would file a criminal complaint against the leader of the main opposition party for comments about the investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"The murder of an innocent person is one crime", adviser Yasin Aktay told the Hurriyet newspaper.

The statement was the first public confirmation by a Turkish official that Mr. Khashoggi was strangled and mutilated after he entered the Saudi Consulate on October 2. He was a Washington Post contributor living in self-imposed exile in the United States since 2017, and had voiced some mild criticism of Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS).

On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that it will probably take "weeks" before the USA administration gathers enough information about the perpetrators to decide on its response.

Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancee, has written in the Washington Post, calling on the worldwide community to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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"We even returned to it a second time later in the discussion because of its importance, and were encouraged by the Crown Prince's candor in his response", Ross told The Post.

Erdogan also displayed more conciliatory language in the op-ed, stressing the "friendly relations" between Saudi Arabia and Turkey and stating that he had "no reason to believe that this murder reflected Saudi Arabia's official policy".

The story was undercut by footage, which Erdogan confirmed, of a Saudi official acting as a body double for Khashoggi, wearing the journalist's clothes when leaving the consulate to pretend to be the dead man.

"It is now up to the worldwide community to bring the perpetrators to justice".

Saudi Arabia denies its royal family was involved and says it is "determined to find out all the facts".

"Turkey does not want to lose Saudi Arabia at the end of the day", Mahcupyan said.

"For too long, they've operated under the impression that impunity is for them and that the rules are for others", he said.

Finally, on October 25, Saudi Arabia said the murder was "premeditated" based on information supplied by Turkey. Riyadh assured that it is conducting a thorough investigation into the matter and announced that some 18 Saudi citizens had already been arrested in connection with the case.

She called on governments around the world to take action to reveal the truth, accusing the United States of taking a position "devoid of moral foundation".

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