Turkish PM hopes relations with USA will normalize soon

Turkey Arrests US Consulate Employee

Turkey Arrests US Consulate Employee

In response, Turkey's Washington Embassy suspended non-immigrant visa services in the USA citing security concerns.

This includes all nonimmigrant visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish police believe that immediately prior to the failed coup of July 15, 2016, the wife of the consulate worker deposited a large sum of money into a bank allegedly linked to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic cleric exiled in the US.

"We have not seen any evidence that indicates that our staff members were involved in what the government is accusing them of doing", she said.

In March, a Turkish employee at the USA consulate in the southern city of Adana was arrested on charges of supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Turkey's Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul on Monday said he hoped the USA would review its decision to suspend most visa services for Turkish citizens.

"If you have a valid visa, you can still travel to the United States".

But Nauert responded that Bass had been operating with the full authority of the U.S. government. "Proud to have him serving in Turkey and looking forward to having him in his next post", she said. "It was coordinated with the White House and coordinated with the NSC (National Security Council)".

Turkish pro-government media have rounded on the United States, with the Yeni Safak daily describing the U.S. as "not an ally but an enemy".

"I'm equally concerned, in terms of individuals being held, by the American citizens of Turkish decent who have not been allowed out of jail or to come home since the coup attempt", Michael O'Hanlon from Brookings Institution said. "In fact, we are the only one prosecuting, while Gulen remains free over there", said Erdogan. He also took issue with what he characterized as a lack of due process in Topuz's handling by Turkish authorities and complained, "We don't know if these arrests are singular events or if we should expect other Turkish staff members to be arrested for simply speaking to Turkish government officials or the wider Turkish public in the course of their duties".

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