Turkish FM talks with US State Secretary on phone in first amid visa crisis
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke on the phone with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the late afternoon of Oct. 11 for the first time since Washington and Ankara imposed visa sanctions against each other on Oct. 9.
No statement was made by either side about the content of the phone conversation, but it came after the two sides expressed the willingness to resolve the problem and avoid further deterioration of ties between the two longstanding NATO allies.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım stressed Ankara’s hope that relations with Washington would be normalized as soon as possible, while U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass hinted that communication channels away from the public eye were in place.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced that it suspended the applications to all non-immigrant visas in Turkey in reaction to the arrest of a Turkish citizen working at the U.S. Istanbul Consulate on charges of terror and espionage as well as of alleged links to senior members of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), accused of being behind last year’s coup attempt.