Turkey awaiting consensus to search consul residence

UPDATES WITH MORE SOYLU QUOTES; REVISED HEADLINE; OTHER EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Aylin Sirikli and Ferhat Demircan

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s interior minister on Wednesday said a search of the Saudi consul general’s residence over a missing Saudi journalist will begin once a joint consensus is reached.

Speaking at Anadolu Agency Editor's Desk, Suleyman Soylu said they are awaiting a Saudi response to a Turkish prosecutor’s decision.

"The prosecutor made a decision about the residence. In order for the decision to get a positive response, the relevant country [Saudi Arabia] must approve it,” he said.

“Once the relevant country gives permission, there will be steps taken there [at the residence] on the investigation."

He stressed: "There is an agreement, but for the search to start, there must be a joint consensus. The joint consensus is being awaited."

"Once a joint consensus is reached, this step [to search the residence] will be taken," he added.

"We have managed and are continuing to manage this issue transparently and open to the world within measures under the law," he said.

The case is not only an international incident, but also a test for the Turkish judiciary, said Soylu.

– 'Wait for outcome of probe'

Turkey has shown two qualities in handling the case, namely staying calm and acting in line with the law, said Soylu.

"[Turkey] obeyed international agreements but at the same time took open and transparent actions [on the case]," he added.

Soylu also urged the international community to wait for the final outcome of the investigation.

Following a search of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkish and Saudi officials are set to search the residence of the Saudi consul concerning the disappearance.

Amid the ongoing investigation, Saudi Consul General in Istanbul Mohammad al-Otaibi left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday.

Khashoggi is feared killed after he entered the Saudi Consulate building in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and was never seen exiting.

On the same day, 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.

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