Manama: Turkey has denied sharing any audio recording with anyone, the country’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu said on Friday, dismissing reports that claimed Ankara had passed on a “recording of the killing” of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to the United States.
“Turkey did not give anyone or any country the recording. It is out of question for Turkey to give any kind of audio tape to [US Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo or any other US official. We have certain information and evidence [regarding Khashoggi’s disappearance],” Çavusoglu was quoted by Turkish daily Hurriyet as saying.
Çavusoglu, who was on a visit to Albania, told reporters that Turkey has evidence and information obtained from its investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance on October 2 and it will transparently share the results with the world.
Meanwhile, the UAE warned Friday that the growing controversy over the disappearance of Khashoggi should not be exploited to destabilise Saudi Arabia. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash tweeted: “There are two scenarios for the crisis hitting Saudi Arabia. The first one seeks the truth amid leaks and counter-leaks, while the second attempts to undermine Riyadh and its position. In the wake of what’s happening, we stand firmly against politicisation, prejudices and attempts to destabilise Saudi Arabia and limit its role. There is no alternative to our stance.”
He added: “From our own perspective, the region’s security, stability and role in the international arena depend on Saudi Arabia, thanks to its political, economic and religious weight. Therefore, we have to differentiate between the significant search for the truth, and the targeting of Riyadh and its stature.”
Khashoggi was last seen in public on October 2 entering the Saudi General Consulate in Istanbul.
A Turkish woman accompanying him, Hatice Cengiz, said that he never came out, but Saudi officials denied the allegations.
A Saudi-Turkish team was formed to probe his fate and as the investigation is moving ahead, including the search of the consulate and the residence of the Saudi consul.
On Wednesday, Turkish Daily Yeni Safak published what it said were quotes from audio tapes in which Khashoggi’s “killers” allegedly tortured him by cutting his fingers off before decapitating him.
US TV station ABC News, quoting a senior Turkish official, reported on Thursday that during his visit to Turkey, Pompeo heard this audio and was shown a transcript of the recording.
However, Pompeo and the State Department denied the report.
“I’ve seen no tape. I’ve seen no — or I’ve heard no tape. I’ve seen no transcript,” he told reporters during a trip to Latin America.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert in a statement following the publication of ABC’s report: “Secretary Pompeo has neither heard a tape nor has he seen a transcript related to Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance,” Nauert said.