Oct. 9 (UPI) — The U.S. embassy in Turkey announced Sunday that it has suspended all non-immigrant visa services to Turkish citizens “effective immediately.”
“Recent events have forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey to the security of U.S. Mission facilities and personnel,” the embassy said in a statement.
In response, the Turkish government suspended visas for Americans, using much of the same language the U.S. embassy used in its statement.
“Recent events have forced the Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the U.S. to the security of the Turkish Mission facilities and personnel,” the Turkish embassy in Washington D.C. said. “In order to minimize the number of the visitors to our diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all visa services regarding the U.S. citizens at our diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. This measure will apply to sticker visas as well as e-Visas and border visas.”
The visa spat comes after Turkish officials arrested a U.S. consulate worker in Istanbul last week on suspicion of being involved with a U.S.-based Turkish cleric who has been accused of orchestrating a failed coup last year.
After the arrest was made, the U.S. embassy in Turkey said it was “deeply disturbed” by the action, as well as “leaks from government sources seemingly aimed at trying the employee in the media rather than a court of law.”
The U.S. embassy also said the allegations against the employee were “baseless” and “anonymous.”