'US visa move does not comply with alliance'

Tue 10 October 2017 10:50 GMT | 14:50 Local Time

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Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday the U.S. move to suspend non-immigrant visa operations in Turkey defied the general rules according to which allies worked together.

In the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group meeting, Yildirim said: "The U.S took a decision which did not comply with the alliance."

Yildirim said that the two countries should solve issues between them through talks, Anadolu Agency reports.

He stressed: "The [visa] issue should be solved as soon as possible."

The U.S. on Sunday suspended non-immigrant visa operations at all diplomatic facilities in Turkey, saying it was reassessing Turkey's commitment to the security of U.S. facilities and personnel.

Turkey retaliated by suspending non-immigrant visa service in the U.S. citing security concerns.

Yildirim said security concerns were not the real reasons behind the decision to suspend the visa service.

“We are probing some people working in the American mission for possible links to FETO,” he clarified as the real reason, adding that no one was above the law in Turkey, even if they worked in U.S. missions.

He added: “Have you asked us before jailing a deputy director general at one of our official banks when on duty in your country?”

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, deputy general manager of Turkey’s Halkbank, was arrested in the U.S. for alleged violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

"Why are you still harbouring the heinous head of the July 15 coup attempt?” he said.

Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the attempted coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Last week, Turkish national Metin Topuz, confirmed by the U.S.’Istanbul Consulate as a local employee, was remanded in custody over terror charges by an Istanbul court.

Topuz is suspected to be linked to FETO.

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