Turkey and the United States of America are NATO partners. Turkey is in need of tourism and has been doing everything possible to convince Western Tourists the country is safe and fit for travel.
In a surprising move, this weekend tourism just died between the US and Turkey when both countries stopped issuing tourist visas to their citizens.
Turkey on Sunday suspended non-immigrant visa services at all Turkish diplomatic facilities in the United States, in a tit-for-tat move amid escalating tensions between the NATO allies.
Just hours after the US mission to Turkey announced it was restricting visa services, saying that recent events had forced it to “reassess” Ankara’s commitment to the security of US facilities and staff, the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC, hit back with an almost identical statement.
It’s not clear if VISA on arrival at Istanbul airport usually available for Americans are still issued.
Turkey urged the United States on Monday to review its suspension of visa services after the arrest of a U.S. consulate employee sharply escalated tensions between the two NATO allies and drove Turkey’s currency and stocks lower.
Last week’s arrest of a Turkish employee of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul marked a fresh low. Turkey said the employee had links to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for a failed military coup in July 2016.
The U.S. embassy in Ankara condemned those charges as baseless and announced on Sunday night it was halting all non-immigrant visa services in Turkey while it reassessed Turkey’s commitment to the security of its missions and staff.
Within hours Turkey announced it was taking the same measures against U.S. citizens.