Turkey Launches Probe Into Disappearance of Saudi Journalist

Report Saudi journalist killed in Turkey

Yasin Aktay, a former MP for Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the man Khashoggi told his fiancee to call if he did not emerge from the consulate, voiced concerns over the Saudi national's whereabouts.

Two senior administration officials said the administration has no verifiable information to confirm the Turkish government claims that Khashoggi was killed but that the U.S. is seeking answers about his whereabouts - and talking to senior levels of Saudi government. "We Saudis deserve better", he added. Saudi Arabia denies what it says are "baseless" allegations.

Erdogan's comments were his most direct suggestion yet of potential Saudi culpability in Khashoggi's disappearance.

He said he was personally following the case and would announce the results of the investigation at an undisclosed time.

Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Riyadh regime, has not been seen since he entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday and Turkish authorities claim he was killed inside the building.

A security source said that Turkish forces then allowed the Saudi plane to take off after they did not find any evidence that Khashoggi was onboard.

Khashoggi's fiancée, however, has stated that the journalist, who has criticized the government of Saudi Arabia and was exiled to the United States a year ago, disappeared yesterday after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, the BBC published off-air audio from an interview Mr Khashoggi gave in London, three days before he disappeared. The Post said "a person close to the investigation" shared the image with them, without elaborating.

The freeze on journalism and free expression isn't limited to Saudi Arabia in the greater Persian Gulf.

While no suspects were named, and the lawmakers' letter to the president is only a preliminary step toward taking punitive action, it marked a departure from decades of close U.S. -Saudi relations that have only intensified under Trump.

"The burden lies with Saudi Arabia to prove that [Khashoggi] is still alive", Kahraman Haliscelik, Press Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told CBS News.

On Wednesday, the Post published a column by Cengiz, who said her fiance first visited the consulate on September 28 "despite being somewhat concerned that he could be in danger".

Angry lawmakers likely won't cause the administration to turn away from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Friday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg that "while the premises are sovereign territory", Saudi Arabia "will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do". He also reiterated that Khashoggi had left the building.

Private broadcaster NTV reported on October 9 that all suspects were seen entering the consulate half an hour before Khashoggi and leaving it after nearly three hours. Turkey has supported Qatar amid a yearlong boycott by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over a political dispute.

He had been living since past year in the U.S.in a self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman.

Turkey summoned the Saudi ambassador on Sunday to request the kingdom's "full cooperation" in the investigation, a Foreign Ministry official said.

He has been critical of some policies of the crown prince and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen.

Police said earlier that about 15 Saudis arrived in Istanbul on two flights last Tuesday and were at the consulate at the same time as Khashoggi.

The Saudis have offered no surveillance footage or evidence to corroborate their claims that Khashoggi left the consulate, and Turkish authorities have not provided evidence to show why they believe the columnist was killed there.

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