MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Monday the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the undersecretary of the US embassy in the country over Washington’s decision to halt visa services in Turkey, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.
The move comes after the US mission in Ankara said it has suspended visa services in Turkey following the arrest of a US consulate employee in Istanbul over alleged links to Islamic cleric Gulen, accused by Ankara of being behind the failed coup attempt in 2016. Shortly after, Ankara responded with tit-for-tat measures and suspended visa services in the US.
Meanwhile, Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamid Gul said Monday that he hoped the United States would review its decision to suspend visa services for Turkish citizens over the arrest of a US consulate worker in Istanbul, since Turkey had every right to do so.
"The Foreign Ministry said that the man had no diplomatic immunity, so it is Turkey's right to judge a Turkish citizen… In this regard, I hope that the United States will review its decision," Gul told the A Haber broadcaster.
Ankara accuses Gulen, who has been living in the United States since 1999, of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup attempt. Since then, hundreds of military personnel, activists and journalists have been arrested in Turkey over suspected links to FETO and Gulen. The cleric has repeatedly refuted all allegations.