Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Turkey, US issue tit-for-tat travel warnings

Turkey, US issue tit-for-tat travel warnings

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has reportedly told citizens that they could possibly face arbitrary arrests in the US.

The travel warning updates come after the United States and Turkey lifted all visa restrictions against each other in late December, ending a months-long visa dispute that began when Washington suspended visa services at its Turkish missions after two local employees of the USA consulate were detained on suspicion of links to the coup. The Turkish statement echoed that language and referenced various past attacks in the US including in Charlottesville, Ohio University and a mosque in Minnesota.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the U.S.travel warning "unfairly" portrayed Turkey as an unsafe country and did nothing to improve frayed ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

It added that the New York City subway pipe bomb attack in December was "an example of far-right/racist incidents".

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The ministry also pointed out the "arbitrary arrests" of Turkish citizens, including public servants travelling to the US for official duty.

"Turkish citizens travelling to the United States may be subjected to arbitrary detentions based on testimonies of unrespected sources", the ministry said in a statement dated Thursday.

Ties between the allies have deteriorated over what many in Turkey perceive as a USA reluctance to extradite US -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a 2016 failed coup attempt.

In return, the Turkish foreign ministry said Turkish public sector employees in the U.S. had been detained on "baseless allegations".

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