Turkey and the United States are at odds, scales back visa services

Image via Wikimedia Commons

The dispute between the Turkish government and the United States has soared — that both countries have resorted to freezing their passport visa services.

The US diplomatic mission in Turkey and then the Turkish mission in Washington announced on Sunday that they were reducing their visa services vis-à-vis each other in order to “re-evaluate” their respective commitments to the security of their staff.

“Recent events have forced the US government to re-examine the Turkish government’s commitment to the security of US missions and personnel,” the US mission statement in Ankara said.

The Turkish embassy in Washington followed the announcement of the United States and produced virtually the same statement; replacing only the names of the countries.

Last week, an employee of the US consulate in Istanbul was arrested because he was suspected by the Turkish authorities of being in contact with Fethullah Gulen; the religious exiled in the United States whom Turkey considers responsible for the missed coup last July 2016.

This decision was condemned by Washington as being unfounded and damaging for the two countries.

Turkey has unsuccessfully requested the United States to extradite Fethullah Gülen for the missed coup that killed more than 240 people. The religious preacher denies participation.