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U.S., Turkey Suspend Visa Processing

October 10, 2017
 
 

The U.S. embassy has suspended all non-immigrant visa processing in Turkey after the arrest of a consulate employee, prompting Turkey to respond by stopping visa processing for Americans, The New York Times reported

In a statement on Sunday the U.S. embassy in Ankara said it had immediately suspended processing for nonimmigrant visas – which include visas for visiting students and scholars – due to what it described as “[r]ecent events” that “have forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey to the security of U.S. mission facilities and personnel.”

Turkey, in turn, issued an almost identical statement in which it said it was suspending all visa services for American citizens at its U.S. consulates and embassy due to “recent events” that “have forced the Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the government of the U.S. to the security of the Turkish Mission facilities and personnel.” Turkey said the restrictions would apply to visas in passports, visas issued at borders, and electronic visas.

The Times reported that the U.S. consulate employee who was arrested, Metin Topuz, has been accused of having links to Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government blames for a failed coup attempt in July 2016. Gulen denies involvement. Topuz has been accused of espionage and of “attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and constitution.”

More than 10,000 Turkish students were enrolled in American universities in 2015-16, making Turkey the 13th-leading country of origin for international students in the U.S., according to the Institute of International Education’s annual Open Doors report

 

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