0652 GMT March 21, 2018
Unofficial sources in Turkey said that the US has stopped the visa process in Turkey due to US worries for the safety of American employees and diplomats in Turkey, IRNA reported.
The US government has reportedly halted issuing nonimmigrant visas in its diplomatic missions in Turkey.
Apparently, the decision by the US came after the October 4 arrest of Metin Topuz, a local staff of the US Consulate General in Istanbul, on charges of relations with the Fethullah Gülen Movement.
The tensions between Turkey and the United States began when Donald Trump took office. His administration has snubbed so far Turkey's objections and continued providing support for the Syrian Kurdish forces. Turkish government considers the Syrian Kurds in relation with Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is considered a terrorist group by Ankara.
The US has also refused to extradite Gülen to Turkey, which Ankara believes is behind the July 15, 2016 failed coup in the country.
The indictments issued against some of Turkish banking and political officials in the United States, as well as the arrest of 11 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security team, during his visit to the US in May, 2017, exacerbated the tensions between Ankara and Washington.