Turkish President and Chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the AK Party's group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara, on October 3, 2017. (AFP Photo)
ANKARA, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Turkey said it was halting all visa services for Americans at its diplomatic missions in the U.S. in a tit-for-tat move after Washington made a similar announcement, local media reported on Monday.
The United States has suspended all non-immigrant visa services at its diplomatic facilities in Turkey, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced late Sunday.
The move comes after the arrest of U.S. Istanbul Consulate local employee Metin Topuz on Oct. 4 over espionage charges and alleged links to the group of U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 249 people in Turkey.
The U.S. Embassy in Turkey has slammed the arrest on Oct. 5, saying that allegations of the employee were "baseless" and Washington "is deeply disturbed by the arrest."