Ambassador Says US Still Seeking Explanation For Turkey Staff Arrests

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Turkey's President on Tuesday said that neither he nor his government recognized the United States ambassador to Ankara following the suspension of non-migration visas for Turkish nationals.

The Turkish Embassy in Washington retaliated immediately by issuing a similar statement that mirrored the one by the US.

In its statement on Sunday, the Turkish embassy in Washington said: "Recent events have forced the Turkish government to reassess the commitment of the government of the U.S. to the security of the Turkish mission facilities and personnel".

But a later version said: "This measure will apply to sticker visas as well as e-Visas and border visas", leaving open the question of whether USA travellers who already have visas would be allowed to enter Turkey.

"US government still has not received any official communications from the Turkish government about the reasons why our local employees have been detained or arrested", Bass said in Ankara.

Following the arrest of a US consular employee by Turkish authorities, the United States has suspended the issuance of nonimmigrant visas at the US Embassy in Ankara and the US Consulate General in Istanbul.


According to Turkish media, Metin Topuz has been accused by the country's authorities of undermining the constitutional order, espionage and an attempt to overthrow the Turkish government.

The arrested consulate employee was a male Turkish citizen, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Hamza Ulucay, a translator of the U.S. Consulate in the southern province of Adana, was arrested in March for alleged links to outlawed Kurdish militants. It comes after Turkeys justice minister urged the United States to reverse its decision to suspend visas for Turkish citizens.

Meanwhile, Turkey's Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. embassy undersecretary on Monday, stating that the visa suspension has caused "unnecessary tensions" and should be reversed, sources told Reuters. Turkey considers them a terror group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK, which has waged an insurgency within Turkey's borders for more than 30 years.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Mr Gulen of instigating the unrest - a charge the cleric denies.

A court has ruled that Topuz will remain in custody while his alleged links to Gulen are investigated.

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