US suspends non-immigrant visas in Turkey

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ISTANBUL – The U.S. Mission to Turkey says it is suspending non-immigrant visas in Turkey, following the arrest of a consulate employee.

The U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara tweeted a statement on Sunday saying that recent events have forced it to "reassess the commitment of the Government of Turkey to the security of U.S. Mission facilities and personnel."

This week, Turkish authorities arrested a U.S. Consulate employee of Turkish nationality for alleged links to the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who the Turkish government blames for last summer's failed coup. Gulen denies involvement. The embassy said it was "deeply disturbed."

The statement said the suspension of non-immigrant visas was "effective immediately" to minimize visitor numbers to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate for now.

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