A Turkish prosecutor convened an employee of the US Consulate General in Istanbul to question him during a full diplomatic crisis after one of his colleagues was indicted, writes the Anadolu pro-government agency.
The wife and son of the Turkish employee from the US consulate were placed in pre-trial detention on Monday during an investigation related to preacher Fethullah Gülen’s movement, an Ankara-appointed organizer of the failed coup from last year.
This convocation, to which the consular employee failed to show up, is taking place midst the tension generated between Turkey and the United States, labeled by the Turkish justice as “spying.”
In response, Washington suspended most of its visa-issuing services in Turkey on Sunday, a measure that Ankara has replied back to its own visa-issuing services in the United States.
Several Turkish papers announced on Monday that a second employee of the US Consulate in Istanbul was targeted by an arrest warrant on Sunday, but Anadolu, who quotes the general prosecutor of Istanbul, writes that for now it’s just about a “convocation”.
The newspaper Hürriyet wrote on Monday morning that the employee had fled to the US Consulate in Istanbul.
The “war on visas” between Turkey and the United States is taking place after months of tensions between the two NATO members, due to the disagreements generated by the Syrian conflict and several court cases in the United States involving Turkish President’s bodyguards Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a former Turkish minister.
Turkey also unsuccessfully demands the extradition of preacher Gülen, who self-exiled in the United States in the late 1990’s and denied any involvement in the failed coup from July 15, 2016.
In March, a Turkish employee of the US Consulate in Adana (southern) was arrested on charges of supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK Kurdish separatists), a “terrorist” organization of Ankara, Washington and the European Union (EU).