This is a developing story and this post may be updated.
In a speech before the Turkish Parliament Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder "a political murder" that was planned in advanced and demanded to know the whereabouts of his body, laying out a number of urgent questions three weeks after the writer was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
"Why was the 15-man Saudi team in Istanbul on the day of the murder?" he asked. "On whose orders? We are seeking answers. Why was the consulate not opened to investigators immediately? When the murder was so clear, why were there so many different statements given by Saudis? Why has the body of someone, the killing of whom has been officially admitted, not been found?"
Erdogan called Khashoggi's death a "ferocious" murder and suggested that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) is hiding information about the killing—noting that he believes Saudi King Salman to be sincere in his country's investigation into the case, but making no mention of the prince.
But despite promoting his address as one that would reveal the "full naked truth" about the killing, Erdogan made no mention of what are believed to be the most horrifying pieces of evidence, including audio and video recordings reportedly held by Turkish authorities that confirm that Khashoggi was tortured, killed, and then possibly dismembered.
Erdogan's speech about #JamalKhashoggi's murder fell well short of expectations. He didn't mention the apparent tape of the killing, or the video of hitmen carrying Khashoggi's body.
— Martin Chulov (@martinchulov) October 23, 2018
Presume Erdogan knows more than he revealed today, and capitals know he knows more. Known Knowns increase his bargaining power. Striking that he said he believed King Salman was sincere, but did not say same of Crown Prince.
— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) October 23, 2018
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Sparking fresh rumors and intrigue about the the murder case that has caused international outrage, Sky News reported soon after Erdogan's speech that Khashoggi's body, or parts of it, had been found at the home of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul—though other outlets did not verify the claims.
Sources reportedly told the outlet that the body parts had been found in the garden of the home, that Khashoggi's face had been "disfigured," and his body had been "cut up."
Sky sources: Jamal Khashoggi's body parts found. Other reports say remains discovered in a 'well' at the home of Saudi Arabia's consul general. https://t.co/ZnQ8VeyDKV
— Jim Clancy (@ClancyReports) October 23, 2018
Erdogan's speech follows weeks of denial by Saudi officials that the kingdom had anything to do with Khashoggi's killing, which took place October 2 after the Washington Post columnist—and fierce critic of his home country of Saudi Arabia—visited the country's consulate in Istanbul, never to be seen alive again. Last Friday, the Saudis finally admitted that Khashoggi had been killed by more than a dozen agents sent by the government, but said he had died as the result of a fist fight.
Saudi Arabia's obfuscation—and the failure of many global leaders, including President Donald Trump, to hold the kingdom accountable—has angered human rights groups as well as the Turkish government.
The reported discovery of Khashoggi's body further calls into question the Saudis' version of events—and supports Turkey's earlier reports of the journalist's gruesome murder.