Erdogan: 15-member hit squad knows who killed Khashoggi

By Kemal Karadag and Enes Kaplan

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish president on Saturday said 15-member hit squad, who arrived at Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, “certainly knows” who killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Speaking to journalists before his flight to France, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “These 18 people or precisely 15 people certainly know the perpetrator and they know where the body was taken.”

He said Turkey does not have any documents or findings, but it has information.

"What is this information? I have always said since the beginning, these 15 people who came here [Turkey], with plus three, 18 people are now arrested [in Saudi Arabia]," he noted.

Erdogan said recordings of the murder was shared with Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Germany, French and the U.K. "There is no need to distort this. Certainly, they know among these 15 [people] that who the killer or killers are, and the Saudi Arabia administration will succeed in revealing things by making the 15 speak," he added.

"The murderers are surely among this 15 or 18, there's no need to look elsewhere."

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to receive paperwork he needed to get married.

After days of denying any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, Saudi Arabian officials said he died in a “brawl” in the consulate but later admitted that he was killed there.

On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

– Bilateral talks with US president

Erdogan also said that if both parties found a chance in France, he will meet with the U.S. President Donald Trump.

Erdogan has embarked on an official visit to France on Nov. 10-11. His visit came at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

During his visit, Erdogan will attend Armistice Day commemorations.

The ceremonies — to be hosted by Macron in Paris — will also see the attendance of nearly 100 world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Nov. 11 Armistice Day marks the 1918 end of World War between the Allies and their opponent, Germany, on land, sea, and air.