Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regrets the U.S. decision to stop issuing visas for Turkish citizens, and warns that retaliatory measures will be taken.
“We are saddened by the fact that the embassy in Ankara has taken this decision and is doing so … Turkey is a law-abiding state. We are not wild men. And no matter what the text they have posted – we must immediately, according to the principle of reciprocity, publish a similar text, which will be applied by the Republic of Turkey against them,” he told journalists in Kyiv on Monday.
Erdogan also said that the employees of the Foreign Ministry of Turkey tried to contact their counterpart partners to address this situation.
It emerged earlier that a U.S. Embassy officer in Istanbul, Metin Topuz, had been arrested on the accusation of having links with the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen. According to Ankara, the preacher was responsible to last year’s failed military coup in Turkey. Washington ignored Turkey’s demand for his extradition.
According to the Anadolu Agency, Topuz has been charged with espionage and attempts to undermine the country’s constitutional order.
After that the U.S. decided to minimize the number of visitors to its embassy and consulates in Turkey, the restrictions become effective after the announcement that the issuance of non-immigration visas by all U.S. diplomatic missions will be suspended.
Turkey immediately responded with similar steps, with its Embassy in Washington repeating word for word the statement of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, having only switched the country names.
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