Turkish president says Turkey only reciprocated US decision.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday condemned the U.S. move to suspend non-immigrant visa operations at diplomatic facilities in Turkey.
“The embassy’s decision to suspend all non-immigrant visa applications is upsetting,” Erdogan said in a joint news conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Porochenko in Ukraine's capital Kiev.
He added that Turkey's response reciprocated the U.S. decision.
On Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced it had suspended non-immigrant visa services at all diplomatic facilities in Turkey. In response, Turkey's Washington Embassy suspended non-immigrant visa services in the U.S. citing security concerns.
The decision came after Turkish national Metin Topuz, confirmed by the U.S.’ Istanbul Consulate as a local employee, was remanded in custody over terror charges by an Istanbul court last week.
Topuz is linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year’s defeated coup in Turkey, according to a judicial source.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the attempted coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Topuz has been linked to a number of FETO suspects, including police commissioners and former prosecutor Zekeriya Oz, a fugitive accused of attempting to overthrow the government through the use of force, added the source, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.