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Turkey and US suspend most visa services

Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

 

Turkey and the US have become embroiled in a consular row, mutually suspending most visa services, the BBC reports.

The Turkish embassy in Washington said it needed to “reassess” the US government’s commitment to the security of the mission and personnel.

A very similar statement was earlier made by the US embassy in Ankara.

This comes after a US consulate worker in Istanbul was held last week on suspicion of links to a cleric blamed for last year’s failed coup in Turkey.

Washington condemned the move as baseless and damaging to bilateral relations.

The arrested consulate employee was a male Turkish citizen, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

In its statement on Sunday, the Turkish embassy in Washington said: “Recent events have forced the Turkish government to reassess the commitment of the government of the US to the security of the Turkish mission facilities and personnel.

“In order to minimise the number of the visitors to our diplomatic and consular missions in the US while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all visa services regarding the US citizens at our diplomatic and consular missions in the US.

“This measure will apply to sticker visas as well as e-visas and border visas.”

The Turkish statement is virtually the same as the earlier American one, with only country names being replaced.

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