Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with reporters about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Washington. Credit: Evan Vucci | AP

ISTANBUL – Turkish authorities are expanding their investigation into missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi to include at least two rural areas outside Istanbul, local news agencies and a Turkish official said Thursday.

The moves suggest possible new leads emerging in a case that has stoked international outrage and left the Trump administration struggling over its response and possible punishment toward one of its key Middle East allies.

In a sign of the discussions with the White House, President Donald Trump has said any possible U.S. response to Khashoggi’s disappearances must take into account the security and defense ties with the kingdom.

[Khashoggi warns in last column of free rein to silence media]

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who held talks earlier this week in Riyadh and the Turkish capital, Ankara – said he urged Trump on Thursday to give Saudi Arabia “a few more days” to complete its investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi.

“At which point we can make decisions about how or if the United States should respond to the incident,” Pompeo told reporters in Washington.

In Turkey, meanwhile, police exploring the disappearance of 59-year-old Khashoggi – whom they believe was killed by a team of agents from Saudi Arabia inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul – have begun reviewing security footage from the entrances to Istanbul’s Belgrad Forest, roughly 10 miles north of the city center, Turkish media reported.

They also expect to search farmland in Turkey’s Yalova province, which is about 60 miles from Istanbul.

A Turkish official confirmed that investigators had broadened their search for Khashoggi’s body to “gardens” around the Istanbul area. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the case.

The latest moves by investigators significantly broaden the map of the inquiry, which has so far focused on the consulate in Istanbul’s Levent district and the nearby residence of Saudi Arabia’s consul general, Mohammed al-Otaibi, who departed Turkey this week.

It could also ramp up pressure on both Saudi leaders and the Trump administration, which has called for a “transparent” investigation by Saudi Arabia but appear willing to let the kingdom direct its own findings.

Saudi leaders deny having any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate.

[Trump criticizes rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi]

Still, a series of leaks from Turkish officials to both foreign and local media outlets has kept the spotlight on Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and Washington Post contributing columnist. He disappeared Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate.

Turkey’s pro-government Sabah newspaper published Thursday what it said were images from a closed-circuit television of Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb – an apparent member of the Saudi security services who may have previously traveled with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – outside the consulate on the day Khashoggi went missing. Other images show Mutreb checking out of an Istanbul hotel and at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

Mutreb also appears to have been photographed with the Crown Prince on trips to France, Spain and the United States. A British document from 2007 lists a man by the same name working as a diplomat in London.

It is uncertain, however, if a self-run inquest by the Saudis could quell international dismay of the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Many Western political and business leaders have bailed out on a major Saudi investment forum next week, and President Trump has faced sharp criticism from even his own Republican allies after appearing to give Saudi Arabia some breathing room.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that he is also canceling plans to attend the conference in Riyadh next week.

Asked why the Saudis should be trusted to conduct a fair investigation, Pompeo said only that U.S. officials would evaluate the Saudi report on whether “it’s truly accurate, fair and transparent” as promised during Pompeo’s talks in Riyadh.

“There a lot of stories out there about what has happened,” Pompeo said. “We just are going to allow the process to move forward, allow the facts to unfold, and as they unfold, as we make a determination for ourselves about what happened there based on the facts that are presented to us, then the United States will determine what the appropriate response might be.”

Turkish investigators believe that Khashoggi was killed by a 15-man Saudi hit team soon after he entered the consulate for an administrative errand on Oct. 2 and was subsequently dismembered.

As early as a week after Khashoggi was last seen in public, Turkish authorities were already investigating the idea that the Saudi team drove around Istanbul looking for parks and open areas to possibly dispose of the body, a Turkish security official said last week.

On Thursday, investigators departed the consulate following a second search of the consulate grounds, Turkey’s private DHA news agency reported. Turkey has not formally released any evidence to support claims a team of Saudi agents killed Khashoggi.

Trump on Wednesday urged the Turkish government to share what it says is an audio recording of Khashoggi’s killing.

“We have asked for if it exists,” Trump told reporters hours after Pompeo departed Turkey.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo did not listen to any audio recording while in Ankara. It was unclear whether Turkey offered Pompeo a chance to listen to the recording Turkish officials say they have.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin used the Khashoggi case to take a swipe at the Trump administration’s cautious approach.

At a foreign policy conference in the Black Sea resort Sochi, Putin said that while the West was quick to punish Moscow after the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England in March – in which the Kremlin denies any role – things look very different in the aftermath of the apparent murder of Khashoggi.

“There’s no proof in regards to Russia, but steps are taken,” Putin said. “Here, people say that a murder happened in Istanbul, but no steps are taken. A single approach needs to be figured out to these kinds of problems.”

The Washington Post’s Kareem Fahim and Zeynep Karatas in Istanbul, Anton Troianovski in Moscow and John Wagner and Brian Murphy in Washington contributed to this report.