By Murat Paksoy
ISTANBUL (AA) – Five weeks have passed since Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, was murdered after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Saudi Arabia at first tried to cover up the premeditated murder. But after evidence produced by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Riyadh accepted that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in a brawl and his body was handed to a local collaborator.
Later, the Saudi side changed its stance and said a local collaborator was not involved in the murder.
Following a probe into the incident, the Istanbul Prosecutor's Office said Khashoggi was strangled and then dismembered.
The journalist's family has demanded that the body be returned to them for a funeral.
The developments in the last five weeks at the consulate are as follows:
– Oct. 2
No news from Khashoggi who went to Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.
His fiancee calls Yasin Aktay, advisor to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, and Turan Kislakci, head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, as Khashoggi does not come out of the consulate building.
Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul initiates investigation upon claims that he was being held at the consulate.
– Oct. 3
Turkish Presidential Aide Ibrahim Kalin says the Saudi citizen is still inside the consulate building as per their information.
– Oct. 4
The Saudi Consulate reports that Khashoggi disappeared after leaving the building and that they are in contact with the Turkish authorities in order to reveal the facts.
– Oct. 6
Security officials say 15 Saudi citizens, who came to Istanbul on two planes, were in the consulate building with Khashoggi. They have since then returned to the Kingdom.
– Oct. 7
Saudi Consulate rejects the murder allegation on its official Twitter account.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is following the incident and will announce updates to the world.
– Oct. 8
The UN, EU, Germany, UK and France voice concern over the disappearance of Khashoggi, say allegations are “serious”.
– Oct. 9
U.S. President Donald Trump says he is concerned about the fate of Khashoggi.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls on Saudi Arabia to show full support for investigation into disappearance of Khashoggi and be transparent about the results.
U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert also urges Saudi Arabia for a detailed and transparent investigation into the fate of Khashoggi.
Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy says the consulate building will be searched as part of the investigation.
Turkish diplomatic sources say Saudi Arabia invited Turkish experts and authorities to visit the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office appoints a deputy attorney general and a public prosecutor to carry out judicial proceedings in the building following the announcement that the consulate would be examined.
Trump says he will meet Saudi authorities over the disappearance of Khashoggi.
It was learnt that on the day that Khashoggi went missing — a special plane from Saudi Arabia waiting at the Ataturk Airport General Aviation Terminal was searched.
– Oct. 10
Citing U.S. intelligence intercepts, the Washington Post reports Saudi Crown Prince Salman sought to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and detain him.
– Oct. 11
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says an intense and comprehensive investigation into the Khashoggi incident was initiated by the office of the chief public prosecutor.
Aide Kalin says a joint working group was formed as part of the cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, upon the request of the latter.
Upon calls for halting military aid to Saudi Arabia until the journalist is found, Trump says such step would harm bilateral relations.
– Oct. 12
The Washington Post claims in an article that the Turkish government shared evidence with the U.S. on Khashoggi's killing inside the consulate.
CNN also claims that Turkey has “shocking” audio and video records showing the killing of the Saudi journalist.
A delegation from Saudi Arabia comes to Turkey as part of the investigation.
The U.S. asks information from the Saudi Ambassador in Washington, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, about the fate of the missing Saudi journalist.
Some prominent media organizations and firms of the U.S. and UK decide to withdraw their sponsorship for the Future Investment Initiative conference, which is planned to be held under the auspices of Saudi crown prince, due to the Khashoggi incident.
– Oct. 13
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stresses “the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible."
Turkish foreign minister urges Saudi Arabia for cooperation in letting chief public prosecutor and experts in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Trump speaks to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz over the Khashoggi case.
AK Party spokesman Omer Celik says Khashoggi entered the consulate and did not leave.
– Oct. 14
Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz says: "If we have already lost Jamal, then condemnation is not enough. The people who took him from us, irrespective of their political positions, must be held accountable and punished to the full extent of the law," in an article she wrote for New York Times.
Erdogan and Saudi King Salman discuss the disappearance of journalist Khashoggi, highlight importance of joint working group.
Foreign ministers of the U.K., France and Germany issue a joint statement saying “light must be shed on the disappearance of Saudi journalist”.
– Oct. 15
Saudi and Turkish officials from the joint working group visit the Istanbul Security headquarters.
After a two-hour closed door meeting, Saudi officials enter the consulate building.
Following Turkish officials’ entrance, search of the building starts.
Trump says he will send Pompeo to meet Saudi King Salman about the disappearance of Khashoggi.
The Saudis claim they intended to abduct Khashoggi from Turkey, but accidentally killed him during an interrogation at the consulate, CNN reports.
It is learnt that Pompeo will visit Turkey after his meeting with Saudi King Salman over the disappearance of journalist.
– Oct. 16
Turkish and Saudi authorities, who entered the consulate, leave the scene nine hours later.
Khashoggi's family calls for an independent and impartial international committee to be established for investigation of the killing.
Saudi King Salman meets Pompeo. Turkish Foreign Ministry sources say that there will be a search in the Saudi Consulate's residence in Istanbul.
Saudi Arabia's Consul General in Istanbul Mohammad al-Otaibi leaves Turkey for Riyadh at 5 p.m. local time in Turkey (1400GMT).
– Oct. 17
Pompeo comes to Turkey to discuss the Khashoggi case.
Pompeo meets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Washington Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan says that Saudi government should make clear and fair explanation to Khashoggi's family.
New York Times claims that five persons in the Saudi hit team, who came to Turkey to kill Khashoggi have been identified.
New York Times says one is a diplomat, who accompanied the Saudi crown prince during his travels; another is a forensic expert and three are security officials.
Turkish and Saudi officials in the joint working group to investigate the Khashoggi case search the residence of the Saudi consul general.
The crime scene investigation teams were seen while they were investigating the roof of the Saudi consul general's residence and a drone took pictures of the building and its surroundings.
The teams collected several evidences.
– Oct. 18
The New York Times publishes photos of Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb — a frequent companion of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and a colonel in Saudi intelligence — while he was entering the Saudi Consulate a few hours before Khashoggi on Oct. 2.
Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office says that the investigation was being done in compliance with international law and agreement and in the upcoming periods the office will inform the public if necessary.
– Oct. 19
"Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge that he’s (Khashoggi) dead,” Trump says and adding that this was based on the intelligence coming from every side.
Turkish foreign minister says Turkey will share the results with the whole world.
Saudi Consulate in Istanbul personnel give statement at prosecutor's office.
Several employees including a driver, accounting personnel, telephone operators and technical maintenance personnel called to the courthouse in Istanbul.
Khashoggi died after a brawl inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabia announces.
State-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) says discussions between the journalists and the people he met at the consulate led to a quarrel and a brawl, resulting in his death.
SPA also reports that 18 Saudi citizens have been arrested over links to Khashoggi’s death.
Saudi Arabia says information provided by Turkey helped the Kingdom reveal the truth about Khashoggi’s murder.
According to SPA, Riyadh appreciated the distinguished cooperation of Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the probe into the Khashoggi case.
Saudi Arabia fires senior intelligence officials and decides to restructure its main intelligence agency after confirming the death of Khashoggi.
The Kingdom issues a royal decree relieving Deputy President of General Intelligence Ahmed bin Hassan bin Mohammed Assiri from his post.
Saud bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, advisor at the Royal Court, removed from his post.
Saudi Arabia terminates the services of a number of general intelligence officers including the assistant chief for intelligence affairs, assistant chief for human resources, and director of the general directorate of security and protection.
White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says in a statement that the U.S. acknowledged Saudi Arabia’s announcement and was "closely" following the developments.
"We will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process," Sanders said. "We are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends."
U.S. President Donald Trump says: "I'm gonna have very much Congress involved in determining what to do. I will very much listen to what Congress has to say."
Amnesty International Indonesia director Usman Hamid calls on the international community to hold an independent investigation into Khashoggi’s killing.
"We call on international community to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice," Hamid says in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
"If the reports are true, they must immediately launch an independent investigation and those responsible, no matter how high their ranks or status are, must face justice," he adds.
Hamid also calls on the international community to end its "deafening silence over Saudi Arabia's crackdown on freedom of expression".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticizes Saudi Arabia’s official explanation on the killing of Khashoggi and demands “full facts” be revealed.
“Nothing has been cleared up yet [on Khashoggi’s killing], of course we demand that they be cleared up,” Merkel said during a party conference in eastern Germany.
– Oct. 21
Trump says he isn’t satisfied with Saudi Arabia’s explanation of how Khashoggi died in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. “I’m not satisfied until we find the answer," he tells reporters.
The U.K., France and Germany condemn the killing of Khashoggi in a joint statement. “Nothing can justify this killing and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” they say.
“Yet there remains an urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened on Oct. 2 — beyond the hypotheses that have been raised so far in the Saudi investigation, which need to be backed by facts to be considered credible,” the statement reads.
Erdogan says he will make a statement on the killing of Khashoggi on Oct. 23.
"Why did these 15 people come here [in Istanbul], why were 18 people arrested [in Saudi Arabia]? These need to be explained in detail," Erdogan says.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister claims the journalist was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and the crown prince was "not aware" of it.
– Oct. 22
President Erdogan and U.S. counterpart Trump hold phone conversation on slain journalist Khashoggi. Erdogan and Trump agree that the Khashoggi case need to be cleared up with all aspects.
King Salman and crown prince telephone Khashoggi's son Saleh to express their condolences on the death of his father.
A footage obtained by CNN shows a man of similar age and physique to the Saudi journalist, who was among the 15 operatives flowing to Istanbul the same day Khashoggi arrived at the Saudi Consulate.
Turkish police finds a diplomatic vehicle which belongs to the Saudi Consulate in a parking lot in Istanbul's Sultangazi district.
– Oct. 23
Reuters reports that a top assistant for Saudi crown prince ran Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by giving orders over Skype.
According to Reuters, before the killing of Khashoggi, Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide for crown prince, was on Skype, giving orders to a group of people inside a room of the Saudi Consulate where they held Khashoggi.
Erdogan makes remarks during AK Party’s group meeting at the Turkish parliament, addressing killing of Khashoggi.
Erdogan calls for 18 suspects arrested by Saudi Arabia to stand trial in Khashoggi murder case in Istanbul.
"Conspiracy attempts against the reputation of Turkey on international media has not and will not stop us from trying to search for facts," Erdogan says, vowing to unveil all aspects of the Khashoggi murder.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he is "deeply concerned" after Turkey's description of Khashoggi killing as "premeditated".
During a phone call, Erdogan offers condolences to the family and relatives of Khashoggi.
Two suitcases and various items belonging to consulate employees are found in a diplomatic car belonging to the Saudi Consulate found abandoned at a parking lot in Istanbul.
– Oct. 24
Trump on Saudi handling of Khashoggi killing: "The cover up was the worst in the history of cover ups." He says: "Whoever thought of that idea I think is in big trouble, and they should be in big trouble."
Pompeo says Washington is revoking the visas of some Saudi officials who have been implicated in the slaying of Khashoggi.
Also, the Saudi officials deny permission to Turkish police to search a well in the garden of their consulate in Istanbul as part of the ongoing Khashoggi probe.
British Prime Minister Theresa May announces that the U.K. will revoke the visas of suspects involved in the killing of Khashoggi.
It is revealed that Saudi teams in consulate vehicles scouted out Istanbul's Belgrad Forest before killing Khashoggi.
Erdogan, Saudi Crown Prince Salman discuss joint efforts to clarify all aspects of Khashoggi killing in a phone call. Salman says there will be no rift between his country and Turkey due to Khashoggi case.
“I want to send them a message: They will not be able to do that [i.e., harm Saudi-Turkish relations] as long as there is a king called King Salman bin Abdulaziz and a crown prince called Mohamed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia and a president in Turkey named [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan,” the crown prince declares.
– Oct. 25
Saudi public prosecutor's office says the information obtained from Turkey showed that suspects in Khashoggi case planned act in advance.
– Oct. 26
Three weeks after the disappearance in Istanbul of Khashoggi, and a week after Saudi officials admitted he was killed at their consulate, Erdogan asks where the journalist’s body ended up.
“It is obvious that he [Khashoggi] was killed but where, you have to show the body,” Erdogan says in the Turkish capital Ankara.
“The 18 people know who killed him, because the culprit is among them,” says Erdogan, adding that Turkey has additional information and documents.
The head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, Turan Kislakci, asks for the body of Khashoggi, saying that the friends and family of the late journalist wants a burial and a grave.
Erdogan and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discuss the case of Khashoggi, stressing importance of punishing culprits over phone.
Istanbul prosecutors prepare a requisition for 18 suspects on charges of planned and deliberate murder with monstrosity and torture. The extradition request for the suspects — all of whom are Saudi nationals — is referred to Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul tells reporters that the extradition of the suspects is expected as the murder occurred in Turkey.
“Turkish authorities are both determined and competent to shed light on this case,” Gul says.
A team of private company inspects the sewer on the street, where the Saudi Arabia Consulate is located.
U.S’ Pompeo vows to hold accountable those responsible for the killing of Khashoggi, while maintaining the “strategic relationship” between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
– Oct. 27
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says the Kingdom will hold those involved in the case accountable.
During a four-nation summit on Syria in Istanbul, Erdogan says he provided “necessary information” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Merkel pledges to take necessary measures after the perpetrators are revealed. "As there has been no clarification until now, there will be no arms exports to Saudi Arabia,” she said.
– Oct. 29
Saudi Arabia’s top prosecutor Saud al-Mujeb visits Istanbul Caglayan Courthouse to meet Istanbul’s Chief Public Prosecutor Irfan Fidan.
Khashoggi’s fiancée Cengiz urges Trump to help reveal the truth behind journalist’s killing and ensure that justice is served.
– Oct. 30
Saudi attorney general arrives at Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as part of probe into Khashoggi case.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet says that international experts should be involved to investigate the Khashoggi killing and urges Saudi authorities to reveal the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body without any delay.
Al-Mujeb visites the courthouse in Istanbul for the second time over the killing of Khashoggi.
– Oct. 31
Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office says in a statement that Khashoggi's body was disposed of after being dismembered.
"The body of Khashoggi has been dismembered after being killed in the Saudi Consulate," the statement says, adding that he was strangled soon after entering the building.
"No results achieved after meeting top Saudi prosecutor despite good intentions to uncover the truth behind Khashoggi killing. Saudi authorities didn't make any statement about local collaborator in Khashoggi murder," it reads.
Al-Mujeb leaves Turkey following meetings on the killing of journalist.
– Nov. 1
According to the Washington Post, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told White House adviser Jared Kushner and National Security Adviser John Bolton that Jamal Khashoggi was a "dangerous Islamist" on a phone call.
U.S. State Department’s deputy spokesman Robert Palladino says the remains of Khashoggi should be located and returned to his family for burial as soon as possible.
Palladino tells reporters that Washington will "hold accountable not only those who executed the murder, but also those who led, were involved and were connected to it."
– Nov. 2
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pens an article — titled "Saudi Arabia still has many questions to answer about Jamal Khashoggi’s killing" for Washington Post.
In the article, Erdogan says Turkey knows the perpetrators are among the 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia.
"We also know that those individuals came to carry out their orders: Kill Khashoggi and leave. Finally, we know that the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government," he says.
The president says Turkey's efforts led the world to learn Khashoggi was killed in cold blood by a death squad and established his murder was premeditated.
"Yet there are other, no less significant questions whose answers will contribute to our understanding of this deplorable act," says Erdogan, including the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body, the identity of the "local collaborator" who was given his remains, and who ordered the killing.
"Unfortunately, the Saudi authorities have refused to answer those questions," says Erdogan, who pledges to keep asking questions, which he says were crucial to the Turkish probe into the murder.
"At the very least, he deserves a proper burial in line with Islamic customs. We owe it to his family and friends, including his former colleagues at The Post, to give them an opportunity to say their goodbyes and pay their respects to this honorable man," says Erdogan.
He says Ankara and Riyadh enjoy friendly relations despite the killing.
"I do not believe for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques, ordered the hit on Khashoggi. Therefore, I have no reason to believe that his murder reflected Saudi Arabia’s official policy. In this sense, it would be wrong to view the Khashoggi slaying as a 'problem' between two countries," the president says.
Also, he says the "longtime" friendship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia does not mean Ankara "will turn a blind eye to the premeditated murder that unfolded in front of our very eyes.
"The killing of Khashoggi is inexplicable," says Erdogan.
The president warns that no one should dare commit "such acts on the soil of a NATO ally again."
"If anyone chooses to ignore that warning, they will face severe consequences. The Khashoggi murder was a clear violation and a blatant abuse of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Failure to punish the perpetrators could set a very dangerous precedent.”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation canceled most of its $5 million pledge to the MiSk Foundation, a Saudi charity headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
German government hails Turkey's efforts in Khashoggi case and called on Saudi Arabia to conduct a transparent investigation into the case.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says: "What happened in the Istanbul consulate was horrendous and it should be duly dealt with. Yet at the same time… it is very important for the stability of the world, for the region and for the world, that Saudi Arabia remain stable."
Courtney Radsch, a journalist and director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, says the Saudis use public relations firms and software to uplift their social media strategy and spy on dissidents.
“The Pegasus software, which is an Israeli software that is sold by a U.S. company, was used to spy, potentially, on Jamal Khashoggi,” Radsch says.
– Nov. 3
Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, chairman of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iranian Parliament says the international community labeled Turkish authorities as "honorable people" due to their actions in the Khashoggi case.
– Nov. 4
According to prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi: "Khashoggi said he was not an opposition figure, but they [Saudis] didn't accept that and killed him."
"Khashoggi was afraid to be jailed when he entered the consulate, but he did not think that there were people who would kill him and they indeed killed him," he says.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says: “We need to find out who was responsible, hold them accountable, and do all of this while protecting enormously important strategic interests that the United States maintains with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
– Nov. 5
Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says an official investigation into the death of Khashoggi will "exonerate" the country's leader.
The sons of Khashoggi deliver an emotional appeal asking for the return of their father's body in an interview with CNN.
"All what we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi [cemetery] in Medina with the rest of his family," Salah Khashoggi tells CNN.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay says Ankara is looking for the person, who ordered the killing of journalist Khashoggi on its soil.
Oktay says Turkey carried out an investigation into Khashoggi’s killing with “transparency and a serious manner.”
He states Turkey has given a message that no one can ever attempt to commit such a murder and those who do “will pay the price.”
– Nov. 6
Bandar al-Aiban, head of Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Commission, says in his speech before the UN Human Rights Council that all the perpetrators will be brought to the justice.
– Nov. 7
During a phone call, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland agree on determining all facts behind the murder of Khashoggi.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he will have a "stronger opinion" on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi next week. Trump tells reporters the U.S. is working with Turkey and Saudi Arabia to uncover what happened to Khashoggi.
– Nov. 8
During a meeting with leaders from the U.S. evangelical community in Riyadh, the Saudi crown prince says the persons responsible for the murder of Khashoggi will be punished.
Kathleen Parker, a journalist associated with The Washington Post, asks: “Who ordered the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and what consequences will there be?”
Describing Khashoggi as a “martyr”, new president of International Union of Muslim Scholars Ahmed al-Raissouni says the killing of the Saudi journalist is not only an issue of the Arab and Islamic world but it’s a humanitarian and global issue.
The United Nations says the developments regarding the murder of Khashoggi are followed closely and the steps taken during the investigations will be evaluated.
Two academicians from separate think tanks in the U.S. launch a petition to change the name of the street where the Saudi Embassy in Washington is located to the "Jamal Khashoggi Street.”
– Nov. 9
Hatice Cengiz — the fiancée of the slain Saudi journalist — expresses shock and sadness upon hearing the latest reports on his killing.
"I'm unable to express my sorrow to learn about [the] dissolving [of] your body Jamal! They killed you and chopped up your body, depriving me and your family of conducting your funeral prayer and burying you in Madinah as [you] wished. Are these killers and those behind it human beings,?” she writes in a Twitter post.
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale says his country is taking “strong steps” against Saudi Arabia.
"We are taking strong steps, such as revoking the visas of Saudi officials and considering examining the applicability of the global Magnitsky sanctions," he says.
Hale says that the U.S called on Saudi authorities to reveal the truth about the case and find those responsible. "Until now some steps have been taken, yet more should be done," he adds.