Turkey halts all visa services for American citizens in US

Turkey halts all visa services for American citizens in US

Turkey halts all visa services for American citizens in US

-Turkish tensions have risen over US military support for Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria, considered by Ankara to be an extension of the banned PKK, which has waged an insurgency for three decades in southeast Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke by telephone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and they "discussed the mutual suspensions of visa services", state-run Anadolu news agency reported, without giving further details.

Erdogan said that the current trade exchange between the two countries of $800 million (682 million euros) "is not enough" and that it should rapidly grow in the near future.

The Turkish restrictions appeared to go further than a move by the U.S. to suspend the processing of "non-immigrant" visas, a specific category that relates to tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.

"We, as Turkey, will not give up on common sense at a time when regional and global tensions have been rising", said Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in a speech to provincial governors in Ankara.

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"We have felt at home during this visit to Serbia", Erdogan said.

The employee was remanded in custody by an Istanbul court late last Wednesday on accusations of links to the group of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for last year's failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The US and Turkey on Sunday indefinitely halted all non-immigrant visa services to each other's citizens amid deepening differences between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Some Turkish officials have long alleged a USA hand in the coup attempt on July 15 previous year, which Ankara blames on the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen. Bass is at the end of his posting and is due to leave Turkey at the weekend.

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