ANKARA, Turkey – An audio recording recording the dying moments of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was shared with Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, France and Germany, as well as the United States, the Turkish leader said on Saturday.
"We have delivered to Saudi Arabia," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Ankara airport before leaving for Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. "We delivered to America, for the Germans, the French, the English, we gave it to all of them".
It was the first time Erdogan publicly recognized the existence of an audio recording that Turkish officials claim that Khashoggi, a contributor to the Opinions section of the Washington Post World, was killed by a team of 15 Saudi years after entering the consulate on 2 October.
Greater access to registration could increase pressure on the Trump administration to take stronger measures against Saudi Arabia in response to Khashoggi's murder.
Although Erdogan said that he "gave" the tapes to those countries, it was not clear whether he meant that he had sent them physically.
A senior German official said that the head of the Federal Intelligence Service received a briefing and listened to the audio recording during a trip to Ankara. "The registration was very convincing," the official said.
The White House and Elysee Palace did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The British foreign office said it "does not confirm or deny" Erdogan's comments.
US officials said CIA Director Gina Haspel heard the recording on a trip to Turkey last month.
Two Turkish officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the subject, said the audio clarifies that Khashoggi suffered a grueling death. He is suffocated for about seven minutes before he died, they said.
One said that he had been told directly by Erdogan that the assassins took 7.5 minutes to suffocate Khashoggi. The other said he had been informed by someone who had listened to the recording. Neither of them said they listened to the tape.
Turkey did not say how it got a registration from the consulate. Telephone interceptions of foreign missions violate the Vienna Convention. Turkish newspapers had published stories about how the recording was made by the Khashoggi Apple Watch, a scenario that has been greeted with skepticism by experts.
Saudi Arabia now recognizes that Khashoggi was intentionally killed in the building and claims to have arrested 18 people. He also fired two senior officials near the Saudi hereditary prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The hereditary prince was not directly implicated by Turkey, but Erdogan said the order to kill Khashoggi came from the "highest levels" in Saudi Arabia and that he does not believe that King Salman is responsible.
Erdogan said he could meet President Trump during his visit to Paris. Two Turkish officials said they expected a meeting to take place, with discussions including US-Turkish relations, Iranian sanctions and the Khashoggi case.
While Turkey has increased the pressure on the Saudis through information leaks in the media about grisly killings, Saudi Arabia has been forced to change its history. The Saudi officials had initially insisted that the journalist leave the consulate alive.
Western analysts and diplomats say that Erdogan could use carefully orchestrated escapes to exploit Turkish interests internationally.
"Erdogan can afford to face this crisis in many different ways, given the strength of his position," said a Western diplomat who refused to be named, citing the protocol. "He has a multimedia infrastructure that works for him, and power is virtually centralized."
Turkish officials have repeatedly complained about the lack of Saudi cooperation in the investigation, saying that the main prosecutor of Saudi Arabia, who visited Istanbul last month, did not share any information.
The Turkish official who said he was informed on the tape said that the prosecutor was more interested in finding out what evidence Turkey had already had than the supply of information. He also asked for the dead journalist's cell phones, the official said.
Erdogan said the Saudi prosecutor was obstructive during his visit. "And then invite our chief prosecutor there," he said. "The crime scene is here."
"The murder or the murders are definitely within this 15", he said, referring to 15 members of an alleged team affected by the Turkish authorities. "The Saudi administration will be able to reveal it by letting these 15 people speak."
Speaking at an event at the International Peace Institute in New York on Friday evening, Prince Turki al-Faisal, former head of the Saudi intelligence service and ambassador to Washington and London, rejected requests for an international investigation into # 39; murder. "The kingdom is proud of its legal system," he said. "He will never accept foreign interference in that system."
He said he expects Saudi Arabia to "put all the facts on the table".
"The kingdom wants to show the rest of the world exactly what happened and move on from there," he said. He said he hopes this would mean an improvement in the conduct of Saudi security forces and also in the image of the kingdom "that has been overshadowed by this tragic and extraordinarily painful accident in all our lives".
However, Turkish officials say they do not trust Saudi Arabia to try the suspects or hold the person responsible for the order. They say that Saudi Arabia has rejected Turkish requests for extradition of suspects to Turkey.
"They are not telling the whole truth," another Turkish official said. "There's an important person behind this and they have to explain."
Mekhennet reported from New York. Zeynep Karatas in Istanbul, and James McAuley and Seung Min Kim in Paris, contributed to this relationship.