U.S. mission reducing visa services to Turkey for security reasons

An armoured Turkish police vehicle is parked near the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Vastavam web: The U.S. mission to Turkey said on Sunday it was reducing visa services after one of its employees was detained last week, saying it needed to “reassess” Turkey’s commitment to the security of its personnel.Last week, a U.S. consulate employee in Istanbul was arrested on charges of links to a cleric blamed for last year’s failed coup, a move condemned by Washington as baseless and damaging to ties between the NATO allies.

“In order to minimise the number of visitors to our embassy and consulates while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey.”U.S.-Turkish tensions have risen over U.S. military support for Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria, considered by Ankara to be an extension of the banned PKK, which has waged an insurgency for three decades in southeast Turkey.