Influential Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing on October 2 after entering in Saudi consulate in Istanbul. No news of him has been found so far. In a CCTV footage published by the Turkish authorities, he was seen entering Saudi Consulate but no footage of his exit was found. It can be assumed that whatever happened to him has happened inside the consulate.
Since Khashoggi`s disappearance, the Turkish authorities have claimed that he had been the victim of murder. And he was killed inside the Saudi consulate. A Turkish security official, on condition of anonymity, said that a group of 15 people from Saudi Arabia reached to Istanbul to take part in the killing mission. After their arriving in Istanbul they went straight to the Saudi Consulate. Before Khashoggi`s entry, they completed the entire preparation for the murder and they killed him after he entered into the consulate. After the murder, his body was cut into several pieces. However, the accuracy of the claims of the officials has not been proven yet. But in some CCTV footages of a Turkish television channel, those officers of Saudi Arabia were seen entering the Saudi consulate. Saudi Arabia has been opposing Turkey`s claim from the very beginning though.
Now the question may arise, why did a famous journalist have to go through this situation? Born in Medina, Saudi Arabia, the journalist is recently been vocal against the Saudi monarchy although he was once loyal to the Saudi royal family. At the very beginning, he supported Saudi Arabia`s campaign against Yemen. Even after leaving Saudi Arabia, he did not criticize every step of Saudi authority unreasonably, like other critics. He also supported the anti-corruption campaign of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He even supported the economic reform and the principle of multilateralism in the economy by reducing dependence on oil under bin Salman`s Vision 20/30 project.
Jamal Khashoggi basically started speaking about political reform, people`s rights and democracy after the emergence of the Arab Spring. But in the usual sense, he was never an anti-government character. Even in an interview with BBC three days before his disappearance, he denied calling himself an anti-government activist. According to him, he still supports the Saudi royal family, but he criticizes some of their activities for going against the interests of the people and the state. But the Saudi government seems not having the mentality to tolerate such criticism. He had been threatened for the past few months. Saudi Officials associated with the Saudi administration threatened him on Twitter as well. As a result, he was very worried about his safety.
Jamal Khashoggi is still missing. The reason behind his disappearance is still covered with mystery. But it can almost certainly be said, according to Saudi Arabia`s statement, if Jamal left the consulate within minutes, they could provide the CCTV footage of his departure. But in reality, there is no such footage of Khashoggi`s exit. Saudi was showing an excuse that their CCTV was not functioning at that time. Also on that day the Turkish nationals working in the consulate were also absent. Complaints were made; they were given an early vacation. After the disappearance of Khashoggi, six black jeeps left the embassy. The Turkish authorities thought that Jamal`s body may have been carried out in those jeeps and later smuggled by plane. But a Turkish Daily has also indicated that Jamal Khashoggi was taken to Saudi Arabia alive.
Turkey has not yet been able to prove whether or not Jamal Khashoggi was actually killed, or if Saudi Arabia has been involved with the assassination. Turkish leaders still refrain from accusing Saudi Arabia of fearing the deterioration of relations with this influential country of the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia does not tolerate dissent, its evidence has been found in many cases during the last one year. If Jamal Khashoggi is actually killed and if Saudi authorities are involved with this atrocity then it can be said that Saudi Arabia has surpassed its own records by capturing and killing a famous journalist from a foreign land. But beyond all things, the only question storming in the international arena is—what happened to Jamal Khashoggi?