United States and Turkey mutually suspend visa services

Both the United States 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, CNN reported.

United States and Turkey mutually suspend visa services

United States and Turkey mutually suspend visa services

STEPANAKERT, OCTOBER 9, ARTSAKHPRESS: With some exceptions, the move effectively blocks Turks from travel to the United States, and vice versa, indefinitely, according to the source.

"Recent events have forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of government of Turkey to the security of US mission and personnel," the statement by the US mission in Ankara said.

Just 24 hours after the announcement by the United States, Turkey retaliated through its embassy in Washington, issuing a statement that effectively mirrors the one released by the United States -- only the countries' names were reversed.

"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 said the measure, effective immediately, would "apply to visas in passports as well as e-Visas and visas acquired at the border." The US move, meanwhile, means that Turks will not be issued visas to visit the United States unless they plan to move there.

To remind the visa restriction move came following the US the consulate employee's arrest, named in Turkish state media as locally hired Metin Topuz, after he was charged over alleged links to Pennsylvania-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.

He was remanded in custody over "terror charges" by an Istanbul court last week, state media. Topuz is the second US government employee in Turkey to be arrested this year.