Turkey visa decision a 'coordinated effort'

Turkish security members stand outside the U. S. Consulate in Istanbul Turkey

Emrah Gurel Diplomatic Drama'This is Certainly the Biggest Crisis in US-Turkish Relations

The spat between the two countries was ignited by the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, a USA consulate worker in Istanbul who was accused of suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, who is a Pennsylvania-based cleric blacklisted by Ankara for orchestrating last year's failed coup in Turkey.

The Pentagon has said diplomatic tension between the usa and Turkey has not affected their military activities.

"An ambassador in Ankara taking decisions and saying he is doing so in the name of his government is unusual", Erdogan said at an appearance with the Serbian President in Ankara Tuesday.

"We have not agreed and are not agreeing to this ambassador making farewell visits with ministers, the parliament speaker and myself", Erdogan said of USA ambassador John Bass, who is shortly to leave Turkey after being nominated the U.S. envoy to Afghanistan.

US State Department has termed the arrest of Turkish staff members of its embassy in Ankara as deeply disturbing.

They added that Turkey's Foreign Ministry undersecretary also spoke with the U.S. ambassador by phone on Sunday.

"Before anything else, this decision is very saddening".

"We do not see him as the representative of the United States in Turkey", he continued.

The Turkish foreign ministry last week said the USA has no grounds to protest the arrest.

Relations between Ankara and Washington have been plagued by disputes over U.S. support for YPG in Syria, Turkey's calls for the extradition of a US-based cleric and the indictment of a Turkish former minister in a USA court.

The US ambassador to Turkey said on Monday the duration of a suspension in visa services in Turkey would depend on talks between the two governments regarding the detention of Turkish staff at the US embassy.

She claimed the USA has not seen any evidence that supports what the Turkish government accuses them of.

But Turkish-U.S. relations have been unsteady for quite some time now. Furthermore, Ankara has been calling for the extradition of Gulen, the Muslim cleric in self-exile in the U.S. The Turkish Embassy in Washington took a similar decision in retaliation.

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