World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S. Embassy in Turkey has taken the decision to suspend visa services in coordination with the White House and State Department, a spokesperson for the department said Tuesday.
"Our ambassadors tend to not do things unilaterally," Heather Nauert told reporters.
"This was coordinated with the State Department. It was coordinated with the White House and coordinated with the NSC (National Security Council).”
On Sunday, The U.S. announced the suspension of all non-immigrant visa services at U.S. missions in Turkey. The Turkish Embassy in Washington took a similar decision in retaliation.
Nauert said the U.S. was "very disappointed" by the Turkish government's arrest of two of their local staff, including Metin Topuz. Topuz, who worked at the U.S.’s Istanbul Consulate as a local employee, was remanded in custody over terror charges by an Istanbul court on Wednesday.
Topuz is linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year’s defeated coup in Turkey, a Turkish judicial source said Wednesday.
"The State Department relies significantly on locally employed staff all around the world. We would not be able to do our jobs at the State Department without all these folks who are citizens of other countries who assist the State Department in their activities," Nauert said.
"Turkey had arrested this year two of our locally employed staff in different locations and then had called in a third staff member just over the weekend," she said.
According to Nauert, Turkish authorities summoned the third employee, but the person of interest has not been formally arrested yet.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the attempted coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
In response to a question about Washington’s expectations from Ankara amid the showdown, Nauert said: "I think a good start would be to allow them access to their attorneys," referring to the two detained U.S. consular employees.
She claimed the U.S. has not seen any evidence that supports what the Turkish government accuses them of.
Nauert also said the diplomatic crisis with Turkey was discussed in a meeting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis had with U.S. President Donald Trump.
55 terrorists neutralized, 20 caves, 42 shelters destroyed since operation launched in Hakurk, Kani Rash regions
Defense secretary remarks come after a meeting with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia at Pentagon
The latest crisis laying siege to the leading online social network has raised the specter that he has lost control of his creation and been naive about the unintended consequences of people sharing so much about themselves.
Lawmakers stared down a self-imposed deadline of midnight Friday, when federal funding was set to expire, and passed the mammoth package by a vote of 65-32, with hours to spare.
Allowing Peshmerga to vote twice in upcoming polls would violate Iraq’s national charter, Turkmen politician asserts
Case against Turkish President’s seven bodyguards over brawl in Washington was dismissed, says lawyer
Antonio Guterres says one in four people will live countries where lack of fresh water will be chronic or recurrent by 2050
Energy secretary says US should get ahead before Russia or China builds civil nuclear capability in the Kingdom
Negative impact on Chinese gowth would be greater if US expands tariffs and protectionist measures, rating agency warns
'We look forward to continuing our conversations' with Turkey, Heather Nauert says
Trump took to Twitter to announce the latest in a cascade of staff changes, one which calls the future of a landmark deal to curb Iran's nuclear program into serious doubt.
Humanitarian Relief Foundation has provided water to over 3M people across 36 countries
Before his removal by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) on Wednesday evening Iranian Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad was the head of Pilatus, the bank at the heart of a corruption scandal exposed by murdered Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Gunfight erupts between Hamas security forces and suspected perpetrators of Jan. 13 attempt on PM’s life
Foreign Ministry urges Iraqi officials to take necessary measures to eliminate security threats against Iraqi Turkmen
Terrorists plotting attack on Turkish military bases have been hit