Turkey did not obtain Khashoggi recording through surveillance: minister

A security officer looks through a partially open door of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 12, 2018. - A Saudi delegation arrived in Turkey on October 12, 2018 for talks on the disappearance of journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi last week at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish diplomatic source told AFP. Saudi journalist and The Washington Post contributor Khashoggi vanished on October 2 after entering the consulate to obtain documents ahead of his upcoming marriage. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Monday said that Turkey did not obtain an audio recording related to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate General in İstanbul via surveillance of the consulate buildings.

“It is not the case that the consulate was wiretapped. We aren’t revealing the source of the recording,” Akar said in an exclusive interview with the BBC, adding that the recording was in the hands of Turkish intelligence.

Khashoggi, a prominent journalist and critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), was killed in at the consulate on Oct. 2.

Turkey had said it possessed an audio recording proving the brutal killing of the journalist.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently announced that Turkey had shared the recording with Western allies.

When asked if Turkey blamed MBS for the killing of Khashoggi, Akar dodged the question and only said that “the prosecutor’s office is investigating the murder from every possible aspect.”

No Turkish official, including Erdoğan, has pointed to MBS so far.

Akar also said the recording would not be revealed to the public at present, but depending on developments it could happen in the near future.

“The cases of journalists behind bars in Turkey are not like the Khashoggi incident. They are not jailed for being journalists,” Akar said, after being questioned if Turkey’s efforts in the Khashoggi case were dishonest while more than a hundred journalists are jailed in the country.

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