United States suspends visa applications from Turkey

United States suspends visa applications from Turkey

United States suspends visa applications from Turkey

Also Monday, Turkey's foreign ministry officials summoned U.S. Consulate Charge d'Affaires to Turkey Philip Kosnett to hear the case against the U.S. decision to suspend the visa applications, calling the move an "unnecessary escalation" of tensions.

The Trump administration's visa ban puts Turkey in the same boat as Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, which have all had U.S.travel restrictions imposed over terrorism concerns.

According to the usa embassy statement, latest events made the U.S. government to reassess the commitment of govt. of Turkey to the security of United States mission and personnel.

Beyond mentioning "recent events", the statement made no explicit mention of the the arrest by Turkish authorities of a local Turkish staffer working at the United States consulate in Istanbul. He added that he had immediately ordered a retaliatory measure that resulted in the Turkish Embassy in Washington issuing an nearly identical text to the US announcement.

Turkish television, including the NTV private channel, said earlier an arrest warrant had been issued for the employee.

The latest moves by both governments mean they will stop processing all visas except those for applicants who are seeking to emigrate.

A first version of the Turkish statement had said the measure would apply "to visas in passports".

The message added a link for a list of Turkish embassies and consulates.

Turkey's cooperation is also crucial for the U.S.as it tries to interdict Westerners traveling in and out of Syria to fight with ISIS and al Qaeda's affiliate, especially as ISIS crumbles on the battlefield and many of those foreign fighters are fleeing.

Topuz's arrest prompted the U.S. to suspend most visas for Turkish citizens.

Ankara hit back at the USA suspension of the issuing of non-immigrant visas - a move described by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as "very, very saddening" - with a tit-for-tat response against American citizens.

The US' National and Tourist Office doesn't provide a breakdown of the total number of Turkish visitors to the US on its website.

Flag carrier Turkish Airlines offered refunds or exchanges to passengers with Turkish passports flying to the U.S. and vice versa.

The trigger for that move was what the United States embassy in Turkey called an attempt to try Topuz, who was arrested on 25 September in "the media rather than a court of law" on "baseless" charges.

Ankara has repeatedly pressured Washington to extradite Gulen since the coup, and the issue has become a major thorn in relations between the on-again-off-again allies.

Gulen, who has lived in Pennsylvania for almost two decades, heads a movement that operates hundreds of charter schools and other businesses in the United States.

Ankara has previously jailed U.S. citizens it accuses of having Gulenist sympathies. He denies the charges.

While meeting with the Deputy Chief of Mission, one Turkish official-Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül-refused to meet with the ambassador himself, John Bass.

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