Turkish Investigators to Search Saudi Consulate in Disappearance of Saudi Journalist

Officials leave Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul

Arabia's consulate in Istanbul Turkey

US President Donald Trump, in his first comments on the case of disappeared Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said he was "concerned" and hoped the case would "sort itself out". "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying: "He has left".

Khashoggi, 59, went missing last Tuesday while visiting the consulate for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée. Although Khashoggi first entered the Saudi consulate a week ago, the Trump administration had remained relatively silent until Monday when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Riyadh to "support a thorough investigation" into Khashoggi's disappearance and be "transparent about the results".

The two Turkish sources told Reuters on Saturday that Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi was deliberately killed inside the consulate, a view echoed by one of Erdogan's advisers, Yasin Aktay, who is a friend of the Saudi journalist.

"If he left, you have to prove it with footage".

They had arrived from Riyadh, the Saudi capital, early that morning and checked in at two global hotels in Istanbul before driving to the consulate in the leafy Levent neighborhood, said two people with knowledge of the investigation.

So far, the kingdom has offered no evidence in the past seven days to show that Khashoggi ever left the building, as a new surveillance photo surfaced showed him walking in its main entrance. Investigators have also examined footage that covers the rear of the mission. "It is [the duty] of the consulate officials", Mr Erdogan said this week.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry says authorities will search Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul in connection with the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, DC, said the news reports will increase pressure on the U.S. government to act.

According to flight records, two privately owned planes flying from Riyadh arrived in Istanbul on October 2, one before sunrise and the other in the late afternoon.

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TRT World's Liz Maddock has more. The Foreign Ministry said Saudi officials have indicated their willingness to cooperate in the investigation. "Our expectation of full cooperation during the investigation process [on the missing journalist] was conveyed to him", sources told Anadolu Agency.

It's been nearly a week since a prominent Saudi journalist vanished after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

"They took us from the top to the bottom of the building, it is a four-storey building, it was obviously an usual event they said they had never before opened their doors in such a way it clearly was an usual move for them", Evans said. Banners read, "We will not leave without Jamal Khashoggi".

Al Jazeera couldn't immediately verify the news report.

The U.N. human rights office urged both Turkey and Saudi Arabia to investigate what it called the "apparent enforced disappearance" and possible murder of Khashoggi.

"I don't think I'll be able to go home", he told the BBC, saying that in Saudi Arabia "the people who are arrested are not even dissidents" and saying he wished he had a platform at home to write and speak freely at this time of "great transformation" in his country. But if Khashoggi is dead, the Saudi government certainly had a motive to kill him.

Saudi officials and consulate workers denied murder allegations and claimed that Khashoggi left the consulate, but failed to provide any evidence of his exit from the facility.

The timestamped picture has a Turkish caption bearing Mr Khashoggi's name and that he was arriving at the consulate, but the man in shot has his back to the camera.

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