Turkey has not shared audio recordings with anyone, foreign minister says

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has not shared any audio recordings with anyone, its foreign minister said on Friday, dismissing reports that Ankara had passed on audio evidence of the killing of a dissident Saudi journalist to the United States.

Mevlut Cavusoglu also told reporters Turkey has evidence and information obtained from its investigation into Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance on Oct. 2.

Turkish authorities have an audio recording which indicates that Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish official and a security source told Reuters this week. Saudi Arabia has denied Turkey’s allegation that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate and his body removed.

“Turkey has not given a voice recording to Pompeo or any other American official,” Cavusoglu told reporters on a visit to Albania, when asked about a report it had passed on information to the United States and its Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who held emergency talks in Saudi Arabia and Turkey this week.

“We will share the results that emerge transparently with the whole world. We have not shared any information at all with any country.”

The disappearance and likely death of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist, has caused an international outcry and strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the West.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he believes Khashoggi is dead and that the U.S. response to Saudi Arabia will likely be “very severe” but that he wanted to get to the bottom of what happened.

Turkish police are searching a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul and a city near the Sea of Marmara for the remains of Khashoggi more than two weeks after he vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, two senior Turkish officials told Reuters on Thursday.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Daren Butler and Janet Lawrence