Turkey has summoned the Saudi ambassador in Ankara to request Riyadh’s “full cooperation” in an investigation over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The 59-year-old Khashoggi went missing last Tuesday while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée.
A Turkish official said the Saudi ambassador met with Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal on Sunday at the ministry. The Turkish private NTV television said Ankara requested permission for Turkish investigators to search the consulate building in Istanbul.
Turkish officials claim that the Washington Post contributor was slain at the consulate and his body was later removed from the building.
Saudi officials have denied the allegations as baseless. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he would await the results of an investigation.
The consulate insists that Khashoggi left its premises, contradicting Turkish officials. The Saudi writer spent last year in the U.S in self-imposed exile, after he fled the kingdom amid a crackdown on intellectuals and activists who criticized the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Turkey’s state-run news agency, quoting police, said 15 Saudi nationals had arrived in Istanbul on board two planes and were inside the consulate building the day Khashoggi went missing. The report did not say when the Saudis had arrived.
A Foreign Ministry official told The Associated Press that Turkey has “deepened” its investigation without providing further detail. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.