The United States and Turkey suspended visa services at their respective missions in tit-for-tat moves after a US consulate employee was arrested in Istanbul last week. Ankara said the US official had links to a cleric accused of planning the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.
“Recent events have forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of government of Turkey to the security of US mission and personnel,” Washington’s mission in Ankara said in a statement. The Turkish embassy in Washington issued an almost identical statement, with the exception of the replaced country’s names.
Turkey has been pushing the US government to extradite the accused cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who has denied any role in the coup.
Ankara has detained thousands of people over suspected links to the failed coup. Bilateral ties have been particularly strained since May, when Turkish security officials clashed with protestors in Washington. They were indicted later.