Highest level of Saudi gov't ordered Khashoggi hit: Erdogan

Highest level of Saudi gov't ordered Khashoggi hit: Erdogan

On Thursday, Washington Post CEO Fred Ryan dedicated an award speech to Khashoggi, and called upon the U.S. government to immediately suspend weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi vanished after entering the consulate in Istanbul to pick up paperwork for his upcoming marriage to his Cengiz, who was waiting for him outside.

Turkish President Erdogan had confirmed that the murder of Khashoggi was pre-planned for which a team of hitman landed in Istanbul.

"We know that the perpetrators are among the 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia", he wrote in the Washington Post, where Khashoggi had written a column.

Istanbul's top prosecutor said this week that Khashoggi was strangled immediately after he entered the consulate on October 2 and that his body was dismembered before being disposed of.

That includes lingering questions about where Khashoggi's body is and the identity of a "local collaborator" that Saudi officials have said was tasked with disposing of the journalist's remains, Erdogan said.

Mr Erdogan also promised to continue the pursue the killers in an opinion article published on Friday in the Washington Post, to which Khashoggi was a contributor. "We can't ignore this because we want to sell more weapons", said Ahmed Bedier of United Voices for America, a USA -based civil society group.

On Thursday, US State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters Khashoggi's remains should be located and returned to his family for a burial as soon as possible.

The Turkish prosecutor said in a statement that "the body of Jamal Khashoggi was disposed of after being dismembered".

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She added, "It is now up to the worldwide community to bring the perpetrators to justice".

"But the Trump administration has taken a position that is devoid of moral foundation", she wrote Friday. "Khashoggi was killed in cold blood by a death squad, and it has been established that his murder was premeditated".

He said that despite a longstanding relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Istanbul would not "turn a blind eye to the premeditated murder that unfolded in front of our very eyes".

After 18 days of silence, Riyadh admitted Khashoggi's murder inside the Saudi consulate after an alleged "dispute" and announced the arrest of 18 Saudis to be investigated, while the whereabouts of the body is still unknown.

The Saudi government initially denied Khashoggi had been killed then later said he died in an unplanned "rogue operation".

For Erdogan, promoting the Muslim Brotherhood - which Saudi Arabia has sought to marginalise in the Arab world and which was ousted from power and brutally repressed in Egypt in 2013 by current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - is at the heart of this power struggle.

Erdogan, in an op-ed piece in the newspaper, said he did not believe "for a second" that King Salman had ordered "the hit" on Khashoggi and he also refrained from directly accusing the crown prince.

"Contrary to claims made by the Saudi Crown Prince and others, Saudi Arabia hasn't been "reforming", it's been rounding up critics and activists in a brutal human rights crackdown", Allen added.

"One thing Britain urgently needs to do is halt all further arms sales to the Saudi Arabia and other members of the military coalition in Yemen", she said.