Erdogan: I am chasing Khashoggi investigation

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is personally "chasing" the investigation into prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who went missing after entering the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul last week.

Posted: Oct 8, 2018 12:18 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2018 12:18 PM

Turkey has asked for permission to search the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in the wake of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, state broadcaster TRT said on Monday.

The move comes as Turkey also summoned Saudi ambassador Sedat Onal for a second time in recent days on Sunday, asking the diplomat for his "full cooperation" in the investigation. Onal was previously summoned on Thursday.

It is the latest development in Turkey's investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi, a Washington Post writer and Saudi royal court insider-turned-critic. Turkish officials told several media organizations that he had been murdered inside the consulate.

Khashoggi, who left Saudia Arabia in 2017, entered the building on Tuesday to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage while his Turkish fiancée waited outside. But she says she never saw him re-emerge.

Saudi Arabia has strenuously denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance. A Saudi official said Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he visited. The Saudis did not, however, release any surveillance footage or other evidence.

The incident has thrown sharp focus on Saudi Arabia's young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's perceived crackdown on dissidents, his kingdom's delicate relationship with Turkey, and Khashoggi 's influence within the royal court.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday called Khashoggi a "friend" he had known for some time, and vowed to personally "chase" the investigation into his disappearance.

Turkish police are also examining all the consulate's entry and exit records, from the time Khashoggi entered the building until his fiancée lost contact with him.

Turkish officials: Khashoggi was killed in consulate

Four days after Khashoggi vanished, unnamed Turkish officials told the The Washington Post and Reuters that the journalist was killed inside the consulate. The officials have so far provided no evidence or details of how they arrived at this conclusion.

Yasin Aktay, a political adviser to Erdogan, told CNN on Sunday that he too believes there is a strong possibility that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate.

"I personally think the possibility of him being killed is stronger than other possibilities, although I do not want to accept it. Because if he was alive, Saudis would provide evidence that he is alive," Aktay told CNN during a telephone interview in Istanbul.

"If he is not in the consulate and if he did not leave through the normal ways, he might have left sedated or left in pieces."

Aktay, who is also an adviser to the ruling AK Party, told CNN that said the Turkish government is not "ignoring any piece of evidence," and said the Saudis are not "sharing any convincing explanations on what happened inside the building."

Fifteen Saudi Arabian nationals -- including several officials -- arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the Saudi consulate there on the day Khashoggi went missing, state-run Anadolu news agency reported Saturday, citing police sources. The 15 Saudis have all since left Turkey, it added.

As demands for answers grew, Saudi officials gave journalists a tour Saturday of the six-story building in an effort to prove Khashoggi was not inside. Reuters said that a consular official showed them every room, even opening up cupboards and filing cabinets. No sign of him was found.

On Sunday, Khashoggi's family in Saudi Arabia appeared to distance themselves from media reports of his death, saying in a statement to the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news channel: "We trust the government and the actions taken by it and all the efforts being made in the case of Jamal Khashoggi."

Who is Jamal Khashoggi?

Khashoggi, known in part for his interviews with terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, was a Saudi royal court insider before he left Saudi Arabia in 2017 for Washington. He began to contribute opinion pieces to The Washington Post that were critical of bin Salman's policies, including his consolidation of power. He was named a contributing writer at the Post in January.

Khashoggi is a Virginia resident, according to his congressman, Rep. Gerry Connolly. He had applied to be a permanent US resident, but at this time his exact residency status remains unclear.

Pressure is now mounting on the US to weigh in on the disappearance, which could have serious implications for the precarious relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, already opposed over the blockade by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states against Qatar.

Two senior US administration officials told CNN on Sunday that although Washington is not commenting publicly, and has no information confirming the Turkish claims, the administration is quietly working across several agencies, seeking answers about Khashoggi's whereabouts and talking to senior Saudi officials.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 48°
Columbus
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 47°
Oxford
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 45°
Starkville
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 45°
High pressure brings sunny skies and dry conditions for Sunday with highs in the mid 70s. Rain chances build in during the week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather