Turkish Police Search Saudi’s Villa For ‘Khashoggi Remains’

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
 Jamal Khashoggi/AFP


Turkish police on Monday were searching the villa of a Saudi citizen in a northwestern province for the remains of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The officers began searching a two-storey building in Termal district in Yalova with the help of sniffer dogs and drones before the investigation widened to the adjacent villa, state news agency Anadolu said.

Khashoggi, a contributor for The Washington Post, was killed by Saudi officials on October 2 during a visit to the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul for paperwork before his wedding.

The first villa to be searched is owned by a Saudi man whom the Istanbul prosecutor said had spoken to one of the murder suspects on October 1.

“It is believed that what was discussed was how to destroy or hide journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s body after his dismemberment during this conversation,” the prosecutor said in a statement.

The prosecutor added this information was the reason given to search the building.

Crime scene investigators were inspecting a well in the first villa’s garden in Samanli village, Anadolu earlier said, while images showed fire trucks at the scene.

Turkish prosecutors say Khashoggi was strangled before he was dismembered.

His body has not been found and his death has triggered widespread international criticism of Riyadh. There have been reports in pro-government media that the journalist’s remains could have been dissolved in acid.

The searches on Monday came more than two weeks after Sabah daily reported that samples taken from the consulate drains showed traces of acid.

Turkish authorities say a team of 15 Saudi officials were sent to kill Khashoggi, who was 59, but Riyadh insists the assassination team conducted a rogue operation.

Anadolu said the Saudi who owned the villa in question is a businessman who was not in Turkey during multiple phone calls with the suspects.

There have been previous inspections of the Saudi consulate and the consul general’s residence in Istanbul as well as a forest in the city.


Turkish Police Find ‘Abandoned Saudi Consulate Car’ In Istanbul

Turkish forensics arrive at an underground car park cordoned off by Turkish police, on October 22, 2018 in Istanbul, after they found an abandoned car belonging to the Saudi consulate, three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate. OZAN KOSE / AFP


Turkish police on Monday found an abandoned car belonging to the Saudi consulate at an underground car park in Istanbul, three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s mission.

The car, which had diplomatic number plates, was found in an underground car park in the Sultangazi district of the city, the state-run Anadolu news agency and TRT World channel said.

Registration documents showed that the vehicle belonged to the consulate, they added. Police have asked prosecutors and the Saudi consulate for permission to search the vehicle.

Police cordoned off access to the car park, where large numbers of media have gathered, an AFP photographer said.

Saudi Arabia has finally admitted that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in what Ankara now says was a “savagely planned” murder. But Khashoggi’s remains have yet to be found.


Turkey Coup Attempt: Key Military Officers Arrested

Turkey Coup6,000 people including high-ranking soldiers have been arrested by Turkish police for their alleged roles in Friday’s failed coup.

A brigade commander and more than 50 soldiers were detained in the western province of Denizli earlier on Sunday as the country continues clean-up operations.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says parliament will likely consider a proposal to introduce the death penalty.

At a rally late on Saturday, his supporters demanded that the coup leaders be executed. “Let’s hang them!” chanted the crowd in Ankara’s central Kizilay square.

The president has called on the US to extradite US-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who he accuses of being behind the plot but Mr. Gulen denies it.

Erdogan accuses followers of Gulen, who was once an ally but is now his arch-enemy, of trying to create a “parallel structure” within the courts, police, armed forces and media with an aim to topple the state.

The attempted coup left 161 civilians and 104 “plotters” killed and also more than 1,440 injured.

350 Police Officers Removed In Turkey Corruption Probe

Turkey has removed 350 Police officers from their posts in the capital Ankara, after a corruption probe targeting people close to the government.

It is the biggest shake-up since the police carried out raids in December. Three cabinet ministers resigned after their sons were detained.

The Prime Minister has accused the police and judiciary of a “dirty plot”.

Turkey’s top judiciary body says it will investigate high-ranking officials overseeing the inquiry for misconduct.

Hundreds of police officers across the country have been dismissed or reassigned in the aftermath of mass arrests by officers investigating corruption claims.

The arrests were carried out as part of an inquiry into alleged bribery involving public tenders, which included controversial building projects in Istanbul.

Calm On Turkish Streets After Days Of Fierce Protests

Shopkeepers and municipal workers began cleaning the streets of Istanbul and Ankara on Sunday after the fiercest anti-government demonstrations in years.

Pockets of die-hard demonstrators lit bonfires and scuffled with police overnight but the streets were much quieter after two days of clashes in which almost a thousand people were arrested and hundreds were injured.

The unrest was triggered by protests against government plans to build a replica Ottoman-era barracks to house shops or apartments in Taksim, long a venue for political demonstrations.

But it has widened into a broader show of defiance against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).

On Sunday rain appeared to keep the crowds away from Istanbul’s central Taksim Square, where the protests originated, but did not dampen the spirit of a small group of protesters who remained huddled around a bonfire.

Rubble littered the square after days of stand-off between the protesters and Turkish riot police who fired tear gas and water cannon and played cat-and-mouse with them on side streets.

Shopkeepers scrubbed anti-government graffiti off walls. Slogans were also sprayed on burnt-out vehicles including a police car and a bus.
There were calls on social media for further protests on Sunday both in Istanbul and the capital Ankara but it was unclear how many people would turn out.

“We will stay until the end,” said Akin, who works in motor trade and has been in Taksim for the past four days.

“We are not leaving. The only answer now is for this government to fall. We are tired of this oppressive government constantly putting pressure on us. This is no longer about these trees,” he said, referring to Taksim’s Gezi Park which became the focal point of the protests.

There were more than 90 separate demonstrations around the country on Friday and Saturday, officials said. More than 1,000 people have been injured in Istanbul and several hundred more in Ankara, according to medics.

The ferocity of the police response has shocked Turks, as well as tourists caught up in the unrest in one of the world’s most visited destinations. It has drawn rebukes from the United States, European Union and international rights groups.

Helicopters have fired tear gas canisters into residential neighborhoods and police have used teargas to try to smoke people out of buildings. Footage on YouTube showed one protester being hit by an armored police truck as it charged a barricade.

Erdogan has overseen a transformation in Turkey during his decade in power, turning its once crisis-prone economy into the fastest-growing in Europe.

He remains by far the most popular politician, but critics point to what they see as his authoritarianism and religiously conservative meddling in private lives in the secular republic.

Tighter restrictions on alcohol sales and warnings against public displays of affection in recent weeks have provoked protests. Concern that government policy is allowing Turkey to be dragged into the conflict in neighboring Syria by the West has also led to peaceful demonstrations.
Erdogan has called for an immediate end to the latest protests and said his government would investigate allegations the police have used excessive force. But he remained defiant.

“If this is about holding meetings, if this is a social movement, where they gather 20, I will get up and gather 200,000 people. Where they gather 100,000, I will bring together one million from my party,” he said in a televised speech.