USA calls arrest of Turkish embassy staff in Ankara as deeply disturbing

Turkey Arrests US Consulate Employee

"I think a good start would be to allow them access to their attorneys", Nauert said when asked what the United States expects from the Turkish government before resuming visa services between the two countries.

The Turkish Embassy in Washington responded with a similar statement on Twitter late Sunday and said it would "reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of Turkish mission facilities and personnel".

A very similar statement was earlier made by the USA embassy in Ankara.

In response, the government of Turkey announced the immediate suspension of visa services to U.S. citizens.

This comes after a United States consulate worker in Istanbul was held last week on suspicion of links to a cleric blamed for last year's failed coup in Turkey.

The dispute erupted last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the American consulate on suspicion of links to the group blamed for last year's failed coup.


The US Embassy in Ankara made the first move by releasing a statement saying that "recent events have forced the US government to reassess the commitment of the Turkish Government to the security of US diplomatic facilities and personnel".

"This measure will apply to sticker visas as well as e-visas and border visas".

The statement also specifically alluded to American citizens applying for visas from within the USA, and was not clear whether it applied to those applying from other countries.

Turkey's justice minister urged the USA to "revise" its visa suspension decision following the arrest of Topuz, stressing that his nation's government has the right to try its citizens for crimes committed in the country.

Ankara has for months been pressing Washington to extradite US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen over his alleged role in the coup attempt in July 2016.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan's post-coup crackdown, which has been criticized by Western governments, has seen tens of thousands of people arrested and more than 150,000 soldiers, police officers and officials dismissed or suspended from their posts.

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