Erdogan Boycotts US Ambassador as Visa Row Intensifies


"We have not agreed and are not agreeing to this ambassador making farewell visits with ministers, the parliament speaker and myself", Erdogan said.

Turkish police believe that immediately prior to the failed coup of July 15, 2016, the wife of the consulate worker deposited a large sum of money into a bank allegedly linked to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic cleric exiled in the US.

Turkish authorities announced, without giving a reason, that a second employee of the USA consulate in Istanbul had been “invited” to the citys chief prosecutors office to testify, AP reported.

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The United States is still seeking an explanation from Ankara for the detention of USA mission staff in Turkey which led Washington to suspend issuing visas in Turkey, ambassador John Bass said on Wednesday.

"Last week, for the second time this year, a Turkish staff member of our diplomatic mission was arrested by Turkish authorities", Ambassador Bass says in the video. In response, Turkish authorities chose to suspend United States visa applications.

The Pentagon has said diplomatic tension between the United States and Turkey has not affected their military activities. "Turkey is a state of law, not a tribal state".

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The US consulate employee in Istanbul was arrested on charges of alleged links to Fetullah Gulen.

On Sunday, the US embassy announced the suspension of non-immigrant visa services at the US diplomatic facilities in Turkey over the recent arrest of an employee of the US Consulate General in Istanbul. "This is not a visa ban on Turkish citizens", Bass explained, "It's a suspension of our consideration of new visa applications".

In response, the United States stopped issuing non-immigrant visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions in the United States to hit back by adopting the same measures against the US. The move apparently stems from concerns about the security of U.S. Mission facilities in Turkey and an effort to limit the number of visitors.

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