By Merve Aydogan
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey on Tuesday announced Saudi officials have granted a search warrant for the country's Istanbul Consulate following the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"While there is immunity for consulate buildings in accordance with Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a consulate building can be searched by the authorities of host country following a consent given by the head of diplomatic mission," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.
"The Saudi authorities expressed their openness to cooperate and said the consulate building could be searched. A search will be conducted in the building as part of the investigation [on the missing journalist]," Aksoy added.
Aksoy in the statement further asserted that Turkish judiciary, intelligence, and security units are "closely following" the developments on Khashoggi incident since it happened.
He assured that relevant authorities are conducting "intense investigation" in efforts to reveal the fate of the journalist.
Khashoggi, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Turkish police investigating the case of the missing journalist had said in a statement Saturday that 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and entered the consulate while Khashoggi was inside.
Istanbul prosecutors are investigating the incident, while the consulate said on Twitter that it was working in coordination with Turkish authorities.