TURKEY

Turkish opposition party leader condemn US visa scandal

TURKISH OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER CONDEMN US VISA SCANDAL

The leader of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said the U.S. was causing a virtual crisis by suspending non-immigrant visa operations at diplomatic facilities in Turkey.

In his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Devlet Bahçeli said he approved Turkey's retaliation, i.e. to suspend non-immigrant visa service in the U.S. citing security concerns.

"The U.S. tried to cause a virtual crisis with lame excuses," said Bahçeli on the visa suspension.

Describing the U.S. move as "a scandal", Bahçeli said that the tension between the two countries should not be projected onto their citizens.

"The decision, which is an abdication of reason, will just [...] deepen the gap between the two countries," he said.

Last Wednesday, 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 last Wednesday.

Topuz is suspected to be linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the group behind last year's defeated coup attempt in Turkey.

On Sunday, the U.S. suspended all non-immigrant visa operations at all U.S. 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.

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

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