US should recall envoy if he's behind visa crisis, Erdoğan says


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged the U.S. to recall its envoy in Ankara if he acted on his own in suspending visa services in Turkey.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Erdoğan criticized the suspension of visa applications for Turkish citizens.

"There is nothing to discuss with the U.S. if the administration initiated the visa row" Erdoğan said.

The president slammed U.S. Ambassador John Bass and said that Turkish officials, including ministers have not accepted farewell visits from the outgoing ambassador.

"We do not consider him as legitimate envoy of the U.S." he added.

Erdoğan said that if a Turkish envoy made a similar decision in the U.S., the Turkish government would immediately recall the envoy.

The president noted that he finds it strange that the U.S. made the decision without having any discussions with the Turkish foreign minister.

The U.S. embassy in Ankara said Sunday that all non-immigrant visa services in its diplomatic facilities in Turkey were suspended after the arrest of one of its employees over the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) ties.

Turkey retaliated by saying it has halted processing visa applications from the U.S. The move, announced online by the Turkish embassy in Washington, applies to visas in passports, electronic visas and visas at the borders, and is also effective immediately.

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