Turkish press trail Khashoggi's last steps at Saudi consulate

By BBC Monitoring
The world through its media

Image source, BBC Monitoring

Many of Turkey's newspapers lead with what are thought to be the last picture of Mr Khashoggi in Istanbul, taken from security camera footage.

The picture appears on several front pages. Mainstream daily Hurriyet runs the headline: "The last image." Pro-government Karar daily proclaims: "Last steps to death."

Papers are confident too that a suspected Saudi hit squad has been identified.

Image source, Sabah
Image caption,
'Saudi execution team'

Sabah, a pro-government daily, says the 15 people who allegedly flew into Turkey on the day of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance have been identified. Its headline says: "Saudi execution team."

Image source, Front cover of Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet

Cumhuriyet, an opposition nationalist daily, says investigators believe seven Saudi agents entered the building before Mr Khashoggi, and left it three hours later. "Seven suspects and a mystery three hours," its headline says.

Cumhuriyet and other outlets say 28 Turkish employees at the consul general's residence were ordered home on the day of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance. Sabah claims two vehicles used by the Saudi agents were parked at the residence for several hours.

Image source, Millyet / Star

Police have put in place a "special unit" to search for bloodstains in the building, pro-government Milliyet notes.

There's also been a lot of focus in the press on two Gulfstream business jets that flew in from Saudi Arabia on 2 October, the day Mr Khashoggi disappeared.

Nine people on board the first jet checked into two different hotels near the consulate and then headed straight for the consulate building, Sabah says.

Image source, Sabah

Although they had reservations until 5 October, they checked out on the same day, the paper has uncovered. Their plane left Istanbul on the evening of 2 October and flew first to Dubai and then to Riyadh.

The six people on board the second aircraft went directly to the consulate and left the city in the afternoon for Egypt. Their jet reportedly arrived in Riyadh on 3 October.

But in the absence of facts, speculation and rumour are rife. With many outlets reporting that Mr Khashoggi's body had been dismembered, Sabah carried a bombshell on Tuesday saying he may not have been killed. "New allegation: He is not dead but abducted," the paper said, quoting security sources.

Saudi press: 'spreading poison in honey'

"Fraudulent concern and false methods" runs a headline in Saudi Al-Yaum today about the Istanbul case.

The paper accuses foreign media of "spreading poison in honey and exploiting any incident to broadcast its fallacies against the Saudi kingdom, without restraint of logic or conscience".

Overall the Khashoggi story is being downplayed in the Saudi media, but a piece on Saudi news website Sabq says a Turkish search of a Saudi plane on the day the disappearance proves that Riyadh cannot be behind the journalist's disappearance.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

More on this story