U.S. and Turkey into a visa frenzy

U.S. and Turkey into a visa frenzy

Fresh low for the ongoing crisis between Turkey and the U.S.A. after the desicions the two countries made last Sunday regarding visas.

Turkish news agency Anadolu reported that a statement by the prosecutor’s office read: “An employee at the U.S. Consulate Istanbul, N.M.C., who does not have diplomatic immunity, has been summoned to our chief public prosecutor’s office [in Istanbul] for his testimony.”

According to the statement, the man’s wife and child “have been detained on terror charges in Amasya, a city in the Black Sea region” (Anadolu Agency).

The visa raw began after last week’s arrest of Metin Topuz, a worker at the American Consulate in Istanbul. He is being accused of having close ties with cleric Gulen’s movement, now in America. According to the Turkish government, Gulen is behind the attempted coup of 2016.

Analysts from Turkey speak of an unprecedented raw with severe measures on behalf of the U.S.

In the meantime, U.S. borders are closed even for diplomats with Turkish paper ‘Hurriyet’ mentioning that President Erdogan is saddened by the dispute.

Moreover, political analysts predict that the diplomatic spat will not be easily solved.

On Monday, the Turkish ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned a U.S. diplomat and asked him to put pressure on his country to lift the visa halting.

The ministry spoke to the diplomat of “unnecessary tensions” caused by the suspension and told him the U.S. should reconsider. They added that there was a phone contact between the Turkish Deputy FM and the American ambassador.

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul hopes that the American side will indeed reconsider.

Erdogan’s presser cancelled – The recent past

Before travelling to Kiev, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan cancelled a pre-planned presser. Political specialists talk of a pacifistic move that could ease the tension.

Sources say that the raw might be only a piece of the jigsaw, because it is possible the American visa measure is an answer to Turkey’s political proximity to Iran and Russia.

They believe that the Turkish invasion of Syria along with the latest offensive that started on Sunday after an agreement among Turkey, Iran and Russia annoyed the U.S.

Also, Erdogan’s decision to buy Russian S400 anti-aircraft missile systems does not appeal to Americans.

Moreover, during a recent press conference of the previous American Ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, the latter had excluded all pro-government journalists.

Issues such as Erdogan’s bodyguards who are charged with beating up DC protesters last may –during the president’s visit to the American capital- former FinMin Zafer Caglayan’s role in the financial scandal between Turkey and Iran and above all the support which Kurds in Northern Syria enjoy are worrying the States.

Before the visa dispute

Sources in Ancara said that before the States suspended all visas, American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had a non-amicable phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Regarding arrests of American citizens, it is not something happening for the first time. A year ago, Turkish authorities had arrested a U.S. pastor who had been working in Turkey for twenty (20) years. A few days ago, president Erdogan suggested his release in exchange for Gulen.

Another incident was the arrest of an employee at the Adana American consulate. That person was accused of being a PKK member.

Turkish Lira takes a tumble

The economy in Turkey is on shaky ground. Although the international markets were waiting for a comment by Erdogan before flying to Ukraine, the presser was skipped. Istanbul bourse and the local currency, the Turkish Lira, fell after the Turkish-American dispute. Within a day, Lira fell by 2,81% against the dollar and 2,90% against the Euro. As for the bourse, BIST 100 took a 3,40% plunge. In case the situation escalates, things might get grimmer, specialists note…/IBNA