Turkey summons US diplomat over visa curb issue

Ankara [Turkey], Oct 10: Turkey Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the United States embassy’s deputy chief of mission in Ankara over US decision to suspend non-immigrant visa applications.

State-run news agency Anadolu quoted sources as saying that the Turkish Ministry officials urged Charge d’Affaires of the US mission in Ankara, Philip Kosnett, to have the embassy reverse the move as it both inconveniences people and will fuel an “unnecessary escalation” of tensions.

According to the report, Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Umit Yalcin had spoken on the phone with U.S. Ambassador John Bass, who is out of Ankara, with Kosnett acting in his place.

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 following “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 a statement through its embassy in Washington, saying, “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.”

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


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