Turkey freezes all non-visa immigrant services in US

Al Jazeera, Reuters, CNN, Anadolu Agency, Agencies

A huge banner with a picture of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen on a building during a ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, March 26, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTX32RYR
Turkey freezes all non-visa immigrant services in US, hours after US mission to Turkey suspended services.

Turkey on Sunday suspended non-immigrant visa services at all Turkish diplomatic facilities in the United States, hours after the US mission to Turkey reduced visa services.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC, said recent events had forced Ankara “to reassess the commitment of the United States to the security of Turkish Mission facilities and personnel”.

It said the measure would apply to visas in passports as well as e-Visas and visas acquired at the border.

The decision came hours after the US mission to Turkey reduced visa services after one of its employees was detained last week, saying it needed to “reassess” Turkey’s commitment to the security of its staff.

Earlier the United States embassy in Ankara says it is suspending, with immediate effect, all non-immigrant visa services at its diplomatic facilities in Turkey.

The move on Sunday means that Turks will not be given visas to visit the US unless they are planning to move there.

A statement issued by the US mission in the Turkish capital said recent events had forced the US government to reassess Ankara’s commitment to the security of US facilities and staff.

“In order to minimise the number of visitors to our Embassy and Consulates while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all US diplomatic facilities in Turkey,” read the statement.

There was no immediate reaction from Ankara, but Sinem Koseoglu, Al Jazeera’s Turkey correspondent, said that the Turkish foreign ministry was preparing a statement.

This is a breaking news, we are working and more details will be published as soon as they are available.

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