October 9, 2017
United States and Turkey Suspend Visa Services
The United States suspended visa services at its embassies in Turkey after a member of the consulate staff in Istanbul was arrested. Turkey claims it arrested the employee, a Turkish citizen, because he has ties to Fethullah Gullen. Turkey blames the Pennsylvania residing cleric for being responsible for the failed coup to overthrow the Turkish President last year (without much evidence of this claim).
The US embassy says it needs to reassess Turkey’s commitment to the security of US mission services and personal in the country. Washington maintains that this was a baseless arrest built on false evidence. The halting of non-immigrant visas means no more visas for tourism, business, temporary work, education etc. for Turkish citizens seeking to enter the the United States.
Turkey has responded in kind, saying “Recent events have forced the Turkish government to reassess the commitment of the government of the US to the security of the Turkish mission facilities and personnel.” Turkey has stopped issuing visas at its embassies in the US. American passport holders are required to obtain an e-visa before entering Turkey, as visas are not issued on arrival. Effective immediately, Americans can’t apply for a visa at Turkish embassies in the US and can’t apply online for an e-visa. Which obviously makes travel to the middle-eastern country much more difficult.