By Paul Riegler
The United States announced on Sunday the immediate suspension of nonimmigrant visa services at its diplomatic posts in Turkey, while Turkey followed suit just a few hours later with a similar statement.
Recent events have forced the United States Embassy in Ankara to “reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey to the security of U.S. Mission facilities and personnel,” the United States Mission to Turkey said in a statement.
“In order to minimise the number of visitors to our Embassy and Consulates while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all Turkish diplomatic facilities in US,” it said.
The move follows the arrest last week of a local employee of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul over alleged links to the movement of a U.S.-based Turkish cleric the Turkish government accused of masterminding last year’s failed coup.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. followed suit with a similar statement late Sunday. The embassy said it would suspend visa services for U.S. citiziens and “reassess the commitment of the government of the United States to the security of Turkish mission facilities and personnel.”
The measures apply to e-Visas, visas issued at Turkish borders, and visas in passports.