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Turkey, US suspend visa services

ANI | Updated: Oct 09, 2017 18:35 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S.A], Oct 9 (ANI): The US and Turkey have suspended all non-immigrant visa services for travel between the two countries after last week's arrest of a US consulate employee in Istanbul.

Washington said it was suspending the processing of all non-immigrant visas in Turkey due to "recent events" that "have forced the United States Government to reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey to the security of US mission facilities and personnel".

Ankara responded with an identical statement, imposing tit-for-tat travel restrictions by issuing statement through its embassy in Washington," Recent events have forced Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of Turkish Mission facilities and personnel," CNN reported.

The Turkish Embassy said the measure, effective immediately, would "apply to visas in passports as well as e-Visas and visas acquired at the border".

The US said it was "deeply disturbed" by the consulate employee's arrest last week in Istanbul over alleged links to the movement of Fethullah Gulen. Gulen, an exiled preacher based in Pennsylvania, is widely believed in Turkey to have orchestrated last year's coup attempt.

The US consulate employee was remanded in custody over "terror charges" by an Istanbul court last week, state media Anadolu reported.

Turkey, a NATO member, has sought extradition of Gulen from the United States as Ankara blames him for last year's failed coup, although Gulen himself denies any involvement. (ANI)