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    Ankara Boycotts US Ambassador's Farewell Reception Amid Visa Row With Washington

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    Turkish officials have ignored a farewell reception for outgoing US Ambassador to Turkey John Bass as Ankara-Washington tensions over the visa standoff mount.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — Bass's reception was shunned not only by the representatives of the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) but also by the opposition, A Haber, a broadcaster, reported.

    The development comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Ankara did not see Bass as the US representative in Turkey, adding that he should be dismissed if he was behind the decision to suspend visa services in Turkey.

    The US embassy has suspended non-immigrant visa services at US diplomatic facilities over the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, an employee of the US Consulate General in Istanbul.

    Topuz was accused of undermining the constitutional order, espionage and an attempt to overthrow the Turkish government. He is deemed to be linked end to the movement of the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, sometimes referred to as the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). In Turkey, the organization is considered to be behind the 2016 failed coup attempt and is designated as a terrorist organization.

    In response to the move, Turkish authorities have suspended visa applications for US citizens.

    Bass has been recently confirmed for his next post as US ambassador to Afghanistan.


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