Erdogan tells Saudi officials to prove missing journalist left consulate in Turkey

Jamal Khashoggi is a familiar face on political talk shows on Arab satellite television networks and used to advise Prince Turki al-Faisal ex Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to US and Britain

Jamal Khashoggi is a familiar face on political talk shows on Arab satellite television networks and used to advise Prince Turki al-Faisal ex Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to US and Britain

US President Donald Trump has said he is concerned about Mr Khashoggi, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Saudi Arabia to "support a thorough investigation" of his disappearance and "to be transparent about the results".

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing writer who had been critical of the Salman government, has been living for a year in self-imposed exile in the United States after a Riyadh crackdown on dissent in the kingdom.

Khashoggi's criticism of the current Saudi leadership "has been honest", adding that he had seen him personally over the past year and had even exchanged text messages with the missing journalist. Friends and officials have blamed Riyadh for the dissident journalist's disappearance and alleged murder.

Reuters journalists toured the six-storey consulate in northern Istanbul which Khashoggi entered on Tuesday to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

The ambassador, Prince Khalid bin Salman, reiterated a statement made by other Saudi officials that video cameras at the consulate had not been recording on the day of Khashoggi's visit.

What's next: Erdogan's statement today suggests he is not keen on escalating tensions with Saudi Arabia - at least for now - and that Ankara is inclined to await the official outcome of the probe into Khashoggi's disappearance before making a decisive diplomatic move.

His Turkish fiancé was waiting outside for 11 hours when she reached out to an advisor to the Turkish President as per Mr Khashoggi's request.

Earlier Oct. 8, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged the Saudi consulate to prove whether or not Khashoggi exited the building after entering, saying the consulate officials "can't get away with [simply] saying "he left the building".

The image was given to the Post by someone close to the Turkish investigation, and released by the United States daily soon after Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged the Saudis to prove he left the consulate unharmed.

The 15 Saudis were in the consulate when Khashoggi arrived, Turkish sources said, and left the same day.

However, before Erdogan spoke, unnamed Turkish police sources as well as an adviser to Erdogan told the media that they believed that Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate, which he entered October 2. Saudi officials, however, insist that Khashoggi left the consulate through a back door. It has also raised tensions between regional rivals, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey has yet to make any evidence public. Relations were already strained after Turkey sent troops to the Gulf state of Qatar previous year in a show of support after its Gulf neighbours, including Saudi Arabia, imposed an embargo on Doha. "A team of 15 Saudis arrived on two planes to carry out the killing, officials have said", 'The Washington Post' reported.

Khashoggi entered the consulate last Tuesday and has not been heard of or seen since, his fiancée and friends say.

Khashoggi had sought assurances about his safety from friends in the U.S. before visiting the consulate and had asked Cengiz to contact Turkish authorities if he failed to emerge.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Riyadh must provide "honest answers" to the claims that he was murdered.

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