13December2017

Home Editorial US-TURKEY RELATIONS HEATING UP AGAIN

US-TURKEY RELATIONS HEATING UP AGAIN

Having briefly subsided for some time, Turkey's relationship with the United States isheating  up again. This time the cause was the detention of a Turkish man who worked as a local staff at the US Consulate in Istanbul. The authorities in Ankara arrested the staff on Wednesday last week (4/10) on suspicion of involvement in terrorist networks.

Related to the arrest, the US Embassy in Ankara, albeit in a less explicit language, said that the US Government is reassessing Turkey's commitment to the security of US diplomatic missions and service personnel in Turkey. The United States Embassy suspended all non-immigrant visa services throughout the American diplomatic missions in Turkey. The US ambassador in Turkey, John Bass denounced the detention which he considered more as a form of retaliation rather than law enforcement. In response to the US reaction, the Turkish government has also suspended all visa services for US citizens. The suspension also applies to online visas and border visas.

The accussation by  the Turkish government to the US embassy's local staff was his involvement in the July 2016 coup. This is related to a telephone conversation he made,during the eve of the July 2016 coup, with Fetullah Gulen, a cleric who was accused of masterminding the coup attempt. It is hoped that this freezing  on consular services will not continue with other measures, and the relationship between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organization-NATO member countries is improving. What's more, both countries still have to work together in fighting ISIS terror in Syria and the Middle East region.

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