Turkish, US Officials to meet to resolve dispute - Deputy PM
Oct 12 2017 by Desiree Burns
Hours later, Ankara issued a similar suspension on visas for US citizens.
In a retaliatory move, Turkey's Washington Embassy also suspended non-immigrant visa services, saying, "Recent events have forced Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of Turkish Mission facilities and personnel".
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on a visit to Washington that Turkey is "safeguarding" the USA employees and "we don't want this dispute to last more than a second".
Speaking at a meeting with provincial governors at the Beştepe Presidential Complex in Ankara, Erdoğan said "It is unacceptable that the U.S.is giving up on a strategic partner like Turkey for an ambassador that does not know his place".
During the conversation, Tillerson said Turkey needed to present evidence for the accusations against the consulate employee, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
Ambassador John Bass told reporters the embassy hasn't received evidence supporting the allegations. Erdogan had been encouraging the impression that Bass acted without approval from Washington, a view that gained traction after several days of silence from the State Department and White House.
"Talks between the foreign minister and (U.S. Secretary of State) Tillerson were very constructive". "If the ambassador acted on his own, then the USA administration should not keep him there for a minute".
On Monday, Istanbul prosecutors summoned another Turkish national working for the USA consulate to testify.
"It's a shame if the U.S.is governed by an ambassador in Ankara", he added.
If the decision was made after discussion with senior officials, "then we have nothing to discuss with the administration", he said.
Turkey's ties with the US have frayed since the failed coup against Erdogan in July 2016. Because this is the position they are holding. "He appears to be being held simply because he's an American citizen who as a man of faith was in contact with a range of people in this country who he was trying to help in keeping with his faith".