PoliticsForeign Policy


US And Turkey Suspend Visas In Diplomatic Spat

The arrest of a Turkish employee of the U.S consulate in Turkey has led both countries to temporarily stop issuing new visas.
Posted at 8:55 AM, Oct 10, 2017

The U.S. and Turkey are locked in another diplomatic squabble. This time, both countries have frozen visa processing between each other's embassies.

The trouble stems from Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric currently living in the U.S. Turkey has accused Gülen of orchestrating the failed coup that aimed to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year.

Turkey recently arrested a Turkish employee of the U.S. consulate and accused him of having ties to Gülen. The U.S. embassy suspended all new nonimmigrant visas in retaliation, and Turkey's embassy responded in kind.

Erdoğan has struck up a warm personal relationship with President Donald Trump, but diplomatic relations between the countries are growing worse. Erdoğan's previous visits have sparked violent clashes between his supporters and protesters.

A recent referendum consolidating Erdoğan's power was widely condemned in the West as being anti-democratic. And the U.S. has backed a Kurdish separatist group in Syria that Turkey considers a terrorist threat.

Turkey has been increasing pressure on the U.S. to extradite Gülen. It's suspected of holding U.S. citizens prisoner for leverage.