Tuesday was the first time a member of the Turkish Government spoke publicly about Khashoggi’s death. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered the first-on-the-record timeline of events surrounding the death of Jamal Khashoggi.
Below are highlights of his speech; which is not so much different from what has been revealed so far from the private briefings by Turkish officials.
• On October 1, the day before Khashoggi was killed, a team of three Saudis arrived in Istanbul on a charter flight and settled into a hotel. Meanwhile, a team from the consulate carried out a reconnaissance mission in Belgrad and Yalova forests.
• On October 2, the day Khashoggi was killed, 12 more Saudis arrived in Istanbul in two groups — one of three, and another of nine. The larger group included generals.
• Before Khashoggi’s arrival at the consulate on October 2, the security cameras in the building were disconnected.
• The Saudis deployed a body double for Khashoggi at various locations around Istanbul.CNN has reported that the body double left the consulate by the rear door about 90 minutes after Khashoggi arrived.
• After Saudi Arabia admitted its involvement in the killing, King Salman told Erdogan that 18 people had been arrested in Saudi Arabia — the 15 previously identified as having flown in from Riyadh and three other consulate staff.
• Erdogan said an independent investigation could not be held in Saudi Arabia and demanded that the suspects be tried in Turkey. Erdogan added that the Vienna Convention offering diplomatic immunity was a “matter of debate” in this case.