The U.S. Embassy’s suspension of visa services in Turkey is a “scandalous decision,” Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said.
“The U.S. has sought a virtual crisis with thin excuses. The consulate has signed off on a scandalous decision after the arrest of a U.S. Consulate staff member with twisted and suspicious networks,” Bahçeli told his party group at parliament on Oct. 10.
“What is the U.S. is aiming for with the visa suspension? We were supposed to be friends. The two countries were supposed to be closer than ever? Weren’t these tales told by [U.S. President Donald] Trump? What has changed?” he said.
The MHP leader’s comments came after Turkey and the U.S. two countries imposed visa restrictions on each other’s citizens, causing an escalating diplomatic crisis. Following a statement from Washington late on Oct. 8 announcing the suspension of the processing of all non-immigrant visas in Turkey, Ankara imposed tit-for-tat measures and suspended the processing of visas in its embassy and consulate in the U.S.
The diplomatic spat further escalated after another U.S. consulate official was summoned for questioning as a suspect in an unidentified case late on Oct. 9.
“It is a mistake that the stubborn tension between two countries is being reflected on citizens,” Bahçeli said, adding that the decision will only “deepen the gap between the two countries” and he “wishes the U.S. will step back from its mistake.”
“It should be the primary duty of everyone to end the visa crisis with common sense, based on responsible state and political reasoning, stopping the creation of barriers between our people and U.S. citizens,” he said.