Turkey halts all visa services for American citizens in US

Turkey suddenly backpedals on its alliance with Russia

On Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced it had suspended non-immigrant visa services at all diplomatic facilities in Turkey.

The US had announced its suspension following the arrest of a Turkish member of staff working at the US consulate in Istanbul.

The spat between the two countries was ignited by the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, a USA consulate employee in Istanbul, over suspected links to US -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Ankara of being behind a failed coup attempt in July 2016. Bass is due to leave Turkey later this week for a new assignment in Afghanistan.

"In order to minimise the number of visitors to our diplomatic and consular missions in the USA while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all visa services regarding the United States citizens at our diplomatic and consular missions", it added.

Relations between Turkey and the USA have been tense over disagreements on Syrian Kurdish militants, which the US backs in the war against the Islamic State group.

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Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is paying an official visit to Belgrade, said he expects Turkish companies to double the number of employees in Serbia next year.

Erdogan will travel with Vucic to the predominantly Muslim-populated southern Sandzak region of Serbia on Wednesday.

Turkey's Justice Minister said he hoped the U.S. would review its decision to suspend most visa services to Turkish citizens following the arrest.

Poroshenko said that during the talks the two presidents had agreed to coordinate their actions on the issue of the Crimean Tatars imprisoned by the Russian Federation.

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