In search for Khashoggi’s body, Turkish police receive calls from ‘dreamers, mediums’
Eyüp Serbest / Çetin Aydın - ISTANBUL
Istanbul police have received calls from locals who said they had dreams about knowing the location of the body of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with foreign “clairvoyants” also claiming to find his remains.
Turkish officials speaking to Hürriyet on condition of anonymity said the calls came at a critical phase of the investigation to find Khashoggi’s body.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Oct. 26 that Saudi Arabia’s chief prosecutor will arrive in Istanbul on Oct. 28, adding that Turkey has other "information and evidence" about the killing, and that it will eventually reveal that information.
"Who gave this order?" Erdoğan said in a speech to members of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara. "Who gave the order for 15 people to come to Turkey?" he said, referring to a 15-man Saudi security team Turkey has said flew into Istanbul hours before the killing.
The Turkish president also said Riyadh needed to reveal the identity of the "local cooperator" who Saudi officials earlier said had taken Khashoggi's body from Saudi agents after the journalist was killed.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a U.S. resident, disappeared on Oct. 2 after a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
After a weeks-long denial, Saudi Arabia admitted on Oct. 25 that the journalist fell victim to a premeditated killing in the building, although the whereabouts of his body remained unclear.
Turkish authorities on Oct. 24 carried out inspections at the well in the consulate after being initially denied access by the Saudis.
A police source told Hürriyet that no DNA evidence was found in the well.
Recent inspections on consular vehicles also produced no clues about the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body.
According to the source, all the vehicles were taken by the Saudis to an auto detail shop for a thorough cleaning after the murder, and no evidence could be found on them.
It was also revealed that the clothes found inside the trunk of a consular car left abandoned at a parking lot in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district belonged to its driver. No evidence of the murder could be found on them.
Erdoğan had said on Oct. 16 that the police gathered evidence showing that some materials at the Saudi consulate were “removed by painting them over.”
After finishing fresh rounds of inspections at the consulate and the consul general’s residence, Turkish police recently extended its search for Khashoggi’s body to Istanbul’s Belgrad Forest and the neighboring province of Yalova as several consular vehicles were spotted visiting these places after the killing.
“They will sink down as much as they try to cover up the murder. It is very clear that Khashoggi was killed by the people who came to Istanbul with two planes from Riyadh,” Erdoğan’s adviser Yasin Aktay told journalists in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul late Oct. 25.
Speaking at a public announcement for the establishment of The Worldwide Friends of Jamal Khashoggi Association, Aktay said: “It was seen in the checks in the airports that the [Saudi hit squad] did not carry a suitcase large enough to smuggle Khashoggi out of Turkey [alive].”
Aktay added that they were suspecting at the time that the Saudis could attempt to kidnap Khashoggi alive, but the murder was revealed later and Turkish officials concluded that the Saudi journalist was tortured, killed and dismembered.
Saudi Arabia has arrested 18 people in connection with the Khashoggi murder, but has not made any official statement about the body’s whereabouts.
U.S. President Donald Trump received a briefing on Oct. 25 from CIA Director Gina Haspel on the investigation into the killing.
Haspel had just returned from a trip to Turkey.