US: Turkey visa decision a 'coordinated effort'
The U.S. Embassy in Turkey has taken the decision to suspend visa services in coordination with the White House and State Department, a spokesperson for the department said Tuesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.
"Our ambassadors tend to not do things unilaterally," Heather Nauert told reporters.
"This was coordinated with the State Department. It was coordinated with the White House and coordinated with the NSC (National Security Council).”
On Sunday, The U.S. announced the suspension of all non-immigrant visa services at U.S. missions in Turkey. The Turkish Embassy in Washington took a similar decision in retaliation.
Nauert said the U.S. was "very disappointed" by the Turkish government's arrest of two of their local staff, including Metin Topuz. Topuz, who worked at the U.S.’s Istanbul Consulate as a local employee, was remanded in custody over terror charges by an Istanbul court on Wednesday.
Topuz is linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year’s defeated coup in Turkey, a Turkish judicial source said Wednesday.
"The State Department relies significantly on locally employed staff all around the world. We would not be able to do our jobs at the State Department without all these folks who are citizens of other countries who assist the State Department in their activities," Nauert said.
"Turkey had arrested this year two of our locally employed staff in different locations and then had called in a third staff member just over the weekend," she said.
According to Nauert, Turkish authorities summoned the third employee, but the person of interest has not been formally arrested yet.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the attempted coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
In response to a question about Washington’s expectations from Ankara amid the showdown, Nauert said: "I think a good start would be to allow them access to their attorneys," referring to the two detained U.S. consular employees.
She claimed the U.S. has not seen any evidence that supports what the Turkish government accuses them of.
Nauert also said the diplomatic crisis with Turkey was discussed in a meeting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis had with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Related news releases
- 13.12.2017400,000 children in DR Congo could die from hunger, says Unicef
- 13.12.2017The US Federal Reserve will raise the rate
- 13.12.2017UN warns of new Syria refugee flow into Europe
- 13.12.2017U.S. Secretary of State: U.S. ready to talk but North Korea must be ready to change course
- 13.12.2017Pentagon looking to triple size of Afghan air force by 2025
- 13.12.2017Venezuela to start criminal probe into ex-oil czar Ramirez
- 12.12.2017New York bombing suspect Akayed Ullah warned Trump on Facebook
- 12.12.2017Trump to send astronauts back to the moon - and eventually Mars
- 11.12.2017Mayor: Explosion at Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan was attempted terror attack
- 11.12.2017New York 'bomb' prematurely exploded at Manhattan subway platform - UPDATED
- 09.12.2017Trump senior aide Dina Powell to resign early next year: White House
- 08.12.2017Trump: I fulfilled my campaign promise
- 08.12.2017US Congress passes spending bill to avoid government shutdown
- 08.12.2017Ex-South Carolina cop sentenced to 20 years in US
- 08.12.2017Judge orders arrest of former Argentine president
- 08.12.201741 students suffer minor injuries after 3 school buses crash in Kentucky
- 07.12.20173 dead, 15 injured in New Mexico high school shooting
- 07.12.2017B-1B bomber joins U.S.-South Korea drills as tensions escalate
- 07.12.2017Trump urges Saudi Arabia to lift Yemen blockade
- 07.12.2017Wildfires rage across California as thousands flee to safety
- 06.12.2017Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital
- 06.12.2017Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital today
- 06.12.2017Paraguay Congress legalizes planting of medical marijuana
- 05.12.20171 dead, thousands threatened by California wildfire
- 05.12.2017US: Supreme Court allows full enforcement of travel ban
- 03.12.2017Arming PKK/YPG to stop per Trump, Erdogan talk: Mattis
- 03.12.2017Trump says Flynn's actions during presidential transition were lawful
- 03.12.2017Two dead as Honduran army enforces curfew while vote count stalls
- 03.12.2017US Senate passes largest tax overhaul in 31 years
- 02.12.2017U.N. council to meet on North Korea rights abuses, nuclear program in December
- 02.12.2017Trump, on Twitter, says Tillerson will remain as top U.S. diplomat
- 02.12.2017One dead, scores hurt in growing protests over delayed Honduran vote count
- 01.12.2017Nigeria: 4 policemen killed in raid on Fulani area
- 01.12.2017US: Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI
- 01.12.2017Flynn prepared to testify Trump directed him to contact Russians
- 01.12.2017FETO suspect at US Consulate gives additional testimony
- 01.12.2017U.S. military to indefinitely delay ban on cluster bombs
- 01.12.2017Honduran protesters, police clash in escalating election crisis
- 30.11.2017White House reportedly plans to sack Tillerson
- 30.11.2017Ex-Twitter worker claims responsibility for Trump's account shutdown
- 11.10.2017At least 13 killed in prison riot in northern Mexico
- 12.10.2017Trump denies seeking nearly tenfold increase in U.S. nuclear arsenal
- 12.10.2017US ‘committed’ to restarting Mideast talks: Jordan king
- 11.10.2017Sears Canada to seek liquidation, then closure
- 11.10.2017Trump to announce broad Iran strategy this week: White House
- 10.10.2017Trump says he's likely to sign healthcare order this week