Tur­key Says Visa Dis­pute With U.S. Must Be Fixed Quickly

Iran News - - WORLD NEWS -

ANKARA (Reuters) - The United States de­ci­sion to sus­pend visa ser­vices in Tur­key has pun­ished cit­i­zens of both coun­tries, Tur­key’s prime min­is­ter said on Tues­day, ac­cus­ing Wash­ing­ton of tak­ing an emo­tional and in­ap­pro­pri­ate step against an ally.

Bi­nali Yildirim called on the United States to move quickly to end a dis­pute which rat­tled Turk­ish mar­kets on Monday and plunged re­la­tions be­tween Ankara and Wash­ing­ton to a new low after months of ten­sion. In a blunt speech to rul­ing AK Party par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, he also de­fended Tur­key’s ar­rest of a U.S. con­sulate em­ployee which prompted the U.S. move, and Tur­key’s re­cip­ro­cal visa sus­pen­sion.

“Tur­key is not a tribal state, we will re­tal­i­ate against what has been done in kind,” Yildirim said.

Tur­key says the ar­rested con­sulate worker had links to U.S.-based Mus­lim cleric Fethul­lah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for or­ches­trat­ing a failed mil­i­tary coup against Pres­i­dent Tayyip Er­do­gan in which more than 240 peo­ple were killed. Gulen has de­nied in­volve­ment in the coup at­tempt and U.S. am­bas­sador John Bass said on Monday night that the em­bassy had not been told what ev­i­dence ex­isted against the em­ployee. The length of the visa sus­pen­sion would de­pend on the ex­tent of Tur­key’s pro­tec­tion for the em­bassy and its staff, he said.

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