Hatice Cengiz has declined president Donald Trump’s invitation to visit the White House. During the very first interview after the tragic death of her fiancé, Cengiz recounted the events that played off before Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Khashoggi had visited the consulate to get papers for the upcoming nuptials, but never returned to his fiancé who waited for him outside. Riyadh had repeatedly denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, until admitting that his torture and death had been premeditated.
A tearful Cengiz had said during the interview that she had declined president Trump’s invite because she perceived it to be politically driven. The fiancé of Khashoggi said that the invite to the White House was a strategic effort on president’s Trump behalf to win public favour.
Prince Mohammed and president Trump had been cultivating friendly ties in the past, but the sudden disappearance and death of Washington Post journalist Khashoggi has prompted the US president to question the Saudi ruler’s responsibility of the murder.
Khashoggi had visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on September 28, and according to Cengiz he had concerns about the visit. Khashoggi had a solid base of followers and supporters in Turkey, and during his first visit experienced a meeting that went well which put his mind at ease. Cengiz said during her first television interview after the murder that her fiancé had been worried about what could happen during his visit at the consulate.
Cengiz relates that her fiancé had a solid network in Turkey, and that he ultimately felt safe. She also said that he assumed that if he were to be held for interrogation, that matters would be taken care of swiftly and without any serious repercussions.
The Turkish president, Tayyip Erdogan, has since insisted that Saudi Arabia come forth with information on who is responsible for ordering the death of Khashoggi.