The 59-year-old Khashoggi went missing last Tuesday while visiting the consulate
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, but a Foreign Ministry official would not confirm the report.
Turkish officials say the Washington Post contributor was killed at the consulate and that his body was later removed from the building. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he would await the results of an investigation.
Erdogan’s tone appeared designed to delay a diplomatic crisis that would be likely to follow if and when he put his full authority to the allegations.
Ankara and Riyadh already remain at odds on the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar and the status of the Muslim Brotherhood and the 2013 military coup in Egypt.
With Turkish intelligence officials preparing to table their findings, a conclusion that the kingdom’s agents had murdered the dissident in Istanbul would be significant. But time will tell whether Ankara is ready to go to any length to bring out the truth.
Khashoggi's disappearance could put pressure on the Saudi crown prince, who has promoted an image of himself as a reformer and a reliable Western ally.
"Opposition to the young crown prince in the ruling family will most likely grow," warned Ayham Kamel, the head of Mideast and North Africa research at the Eurasia Group. "There are elements of the Al Saud family that are convinced that the prince is reckless and compromising the security of the country."
Turkey's state-run news agency, quoting police, has said 15 Saudi nationals arrived in Istanbul on board two planes and were inside the consulate building when Khashoggi went missing. The private DHA agency said the planes, which it identified as a two Gulfstream jets belonging to a Riyadh-based company that hires private jets, landed at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on the day Khashoggi vanished.
Journalists and activists gathered outside the Saudi Consulate on Monday demanding information on Khashoggi's fate.
Among the protesters was Tawakkol Karman, the Yemeni journalist and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner. She accused Saudi Arabia of "state terrorism" and called on the international community to take action against the kingdom. Saudi Arabia has been at war with Yemen since March 2015.
The Washington Post urged the U.S. government to "demand answers" from Saudi Arabia about the missing dissident journalist.
"The United States must now make a concerted effort to determine all the facts about Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance," the newspaper said in an editorial late Sunday.
Khashoggi, a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who wrote for the Washington Post’s Global Opinions section, lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since September 2017, when he left Saudi Arabia amid a crackdown on dissent.
The U.S. magazine, The New Yorker, said Khashoggi had told it in August that he was worried about his life.
"The Saudi dissident, a fifty-nine-year-old former editor and government adviser, was convinced that the kingdom’s new leadership wanted to kill him," it said in an opinion piece.
Referring to the close relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and President Donald Trump’s treatment of Prince Muhammad as a "favored ally", the Post said the kingdom now should reciprocate with information about the whereabouts of the journalist.
"If the crown prince does not respond with full cooperation, Congress must, as a first step, suspend all military cooperation with the kingdom," the newspaper said.
Social media users have criticized the "deafening silence" from the U.S. administration toward the disappearance. They said Trump’s embrace of the Saudi government has empowered the crown prince and made him brazen.
"The White House empowered Saudi crown prince MBS as he confronted Qatar, as he kidnapped Lebanon's prime minister, as he starved Yemenis, as he crushed dissent. Will it continue to sell him weapons if it's confirmed that he murdered a brave journalist, Jamal Khashoggi?” Nicholas Kristof tweeted.
The Saudis have been a willing recipient of Trump’s courting, which began in earnest during his first presidential trip overseas, to Riyadh in May 2017.
According to the Washington Post, the trip marked a foreign policy shift in which the administration began clearly to equate the purchase of U.S. arms with the pursuit of American policy interests, the apex of which was a $110 billion deal in Saudi purchases.