By Nilay Kar Onum
ISTANBUL (AA) – Slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was remembered on Wednesday with a memorial held in Istanbul on the first anniversary of his killing.
Khashoggi’s friends, human rights activists, his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz, as well as local and international media members, gathered in front of the Saudi Consulate building in Levent district, to commemorate Khashoggi.
A moment of silence was observed for the slain journalist before the commemoration ceremony started.
Andrew Cardner, Turkey representative of Amnesty International, Erol Onderoglu, representative of Reporters without Borders (RSF), UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard were in attendance of the event.
The ceremony began at 1.14 p.m. local time (1014GMT), the exact time when Khashoggi had entered his country's diplomatic mission last year to acquire documents for his planned marriage with fiancee Hatice Cengiz.
Unlike other memorial services, Friends of Jamal Khashoggi initiative called the event as “a moment of unsilence” as they think the silence is exactly what the murderers of Khashoggi wanted them to do.
Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post newspaper, for which Khashoggi had written columns, Turan Kislakci, the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, and Ayman Nour, a former member of Egyptian parliament and founder of the liberal el-Ghad Party, also attended the event.
In a very short speech, Bezos dubbed the murder "unimaginable”, saying, "You [Hatice Cengiz] need to know you are in our hearts. We are here and you are not alone."
Saudi Arabia initially denied any knowledge of his whereabouts after Khashoggi went missing but later attempted to blame his death on a team of rogue operatives carrying out a botched rendition operation and put 11 men on trial.
According to reports by the UN and other independent organizations, he was murdered and dismembered. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accepted responsibility for the killing but denied ordering Khashoggi’s murder.