Turkey receives U.S. request to solve visa crisis: spokesman


In a retaliatory move, Turkey's Washington Embassy also suspended non-immigrant visa services, saying, "Recent events have forced Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of Turkish Mission facilities and personnel".

The U.S. ambassador to Turkey says he hopes the two countries can quickly resolve a spat over the arrest of a U.S. consulate staffer, stressing that cooperation between the two allies helped reduce terror attacks in Turkey.

U.S. Ambassador John Bass speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017.

The strained relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies escalated last week after Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the United States consulate on suspicion of links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Ankara of being behind a failed coup attempt in July 2016. It is unacceptable for the U.S.to sacrifice Turkey's strategic partnership for an impertinent ambassador.

During the conversation, Tillerson said Turkey needed to present evidence for the accusations against the consulate employee, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

"We'll continue to try to address the matter in way that enables us to lift our temporary suspension of visa services", Bass told reporters.

"Talks between the foreign minister and (U.S. Secretary of State) Tillerson were very constructive".

On Monday, Istanbul prosecutors summoned another Turkish national working for the US consulate to testify. The U.S. has declined to extradite Gulen, citing a lack of evidence. "For some reason his side of interactions are suddenly being classified as support for terrorism or membership in a terrorist organization, and I have yet to see a consistent description of which terrorist organization he is supposed to be a member of".