Diplomacy |Emerging

Emerging: Diplomatic row between Turkey and U.S. escalates

Talk (4)


Tom Wolsky

"Shouldn't this story be taken off the..."

Cassandra Vinograd

"Could maybe be addressed with a line ..."
Jack Barton

Jack Barton

"Yes, but that is what the statement s..."

Tom Wolsky

""suspend non-immigrant visa services"..."
Presidents Trump and Erdogan met in New York on 21 September, reaffirming their commitment to the countries' strategic partnership
Presidents Trump and Erdogan met in New York on 21 September, reaffirming their commitment to the countries’ strategic partnership (Photo: U.S. Embassy)

Turkey and the U.S. suspended visa facilities in a diplomatic standoff that began when Turkish security forces arrested a U.S. consulate worker last week.

On October 8, the U.S. embassy in Turkey issued a statement saying that it would immediately suspend non-immigrant visa services. This includes the majority of visa services, such as for student and tourist visas.

A few hours later, the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC issued an almost identical statement, saying that it had suspended all visa services to U.S. citizens.

Neither embassy cited specific reasons for the suspension, but said that they needed to reassess whether the other’s government was committed to keeping their staff safe.

On October 4, Turkish security forces arrested a U.S. embassy worker. Local media reported the embassy employee as Metin Topuz, a liaison officer. The reports, citing leaked arrest warrants, say that Topuz is accused of “espionage” and assisting Fethullah Gülen, the exiled cleric, resident in the U.S. who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says masterminded a failed coup last year.

The U.S. embassy issued a statement the following day accusing Turkey of “baseless, anonymous allegations” against Topuz.

In a further escalation on September 9, the Istanbul prosecutor’s office said that it had ordered the questioning of another U.S. embassy staff member, and arrested the man’s wife and child, according to the Guardian.

In late September, President Donald J. Trump and President Erdoğan met at the UN conference in New York. In a statement, the U.S. State Department said that the presidents had reaffirmed their commitment to their strategic partnership and to “foster regional stability and defeat terrorism in all its forms.”

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United Kingdom
Jack Barton is a staff journalist at WikiTribune where he writes about international law, human rights and finance, whilst covering daily news. He was previously a senior reporter at Law Business Research and has experience covering law and international development, with credits in the Sunday Times, the New Indian Express, and New Statesman online among others. He has an LLM in Human Rights and worked on a UN-funded research project, looking at peace processes.

History for stories "Emerging: Diplomatic row between Turkey and U.S. escalates"

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22 January 2018

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  1. Rewrite

    Shouldn’t this story be taken off the front page and subsumed into the later Turkey/US story?

  2. Rewrite

    “suspend non-immigrant visa services” Find this statement confusing. It seems it’s exactly immigrant visa services that are suspended, with no suspension of tourist or student visas.

    1. Rewrite

      Yes, but that is what the statement says. I guess it implies that immigration services stay the same (thought these may be limited as is) whereas diplomatic and other visa services are suspended.

    2. Rewrite

      Could maybe be addressed with a line saying that that means nearly all visas!

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