US Suspends all Non-immigrant Visa Services in Turkey after Consulate Employee’s Arrest

The US Embassy in Turkey has announced it is suspending “all non-immigrant visa services at all US diplomatic facilities,” citing security reasons.

In its announcement Sunday, the embassy said the decision was based on Washington’s need to “reassess the commitment of government of Turkey to the security of US mission and personnel.”

The measure was “forced” by “recent events,” the statement added, saying it will be effective immediately.

Earlier this week, Turkish citizen Metin Topuz, who worked at the US General Consulate in Istanbul, was arrested by local law enforcement on terrorism charges. A court ruled he would remain in custody while his alleged links to exiled Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom the government in Ankara blamed for a failed coup last summer, are being investigated.

The employee was reportedly accused of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and Turkey’s government,” as well as of “spying.”

Washington has condemned the arrest, saying that the move undermines relations between the two nations and that Ankara’s allegations are “baseless.”


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