BlackHouse, Oct. 11 – Turkey retaliated the US decision to halt issuing visa in his embassy in Ankara less than twenty-four hours after it was announced by suspending all non-immigrant visa services.
The Turkish embassy in Washington announced that all services for Americans who mean to visit Turkey are halted till an indefinite time. The decision is made as a countermeasure to the US announcement over a similar decision in previous hours.
In a statement issued by Turkey’s Washington embassy on Sunday, the security of Turkish facility personnel following the recent movement has been mentioned as the reason behind the decision:
Recent events have forced the Turkish government to reassess the commitment of the government of the United States to the security of Turkish mission facilities and personnel.
The statement makes no mention of the duration of the suspension and does not make clear the condition for those who’ve already been in visa process. A similar statement was released a few hours before the Turkish reaction by the Washington in which US announced visa restrictions for Turkish citizens in its Ankara embassy.
The detention of Metin Topuz, an employee of the US General Consulate in Istanbul, was announced the reason for US new restrictions. Turkish officials announced that Topuz was arrested under allegations of having had ties with Fethullah Gulen, the exiled Turkish cleric, and his activities inside Turkey. Gulen is blamed for last year’s failed coup in Turkey which led to the death of hundreds followed by thousands of arrests across Turkey.
The arrest of Topuz was strongly condemned by Washington calling the allegations against him “baseless, anonymous allegations” that may “undermine and devalue the longstanding partnership” between the two countries.
Turkey-US relations has been formerly on the precipice following the US evasion from extradition of Gulen and their support for YPG militia in the region. It is expected that the exchange of conflicts mount in the coming days between Ankara and Washington.