Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Erdogan holds talks in Serbia as Turkey hikes Balkan clout

Erdogan holds talks in Serbia as Turkey hikes Balkan clout

Turkey and Serbia were able to develop ties despite their differences over Kosovo's "unilaterally proclaimed independence" in 2008, Vucetic said.

The Turkish Embassy in Washington retaliated immediately by issuing a similar statement that mirrored the one by the US.

"Recent events have forced the Turkish government to reassess the commitment of the government of the United States to the security of the Turkish mission facilities and personnel", a statement posted on the Twitter account of the Turkish embassy in Washington DC said, closely mimicking the earlier U.S. notification.

He said the embassy had been unable to learn the reasons for the arrest of a Turkish staff member last week and or what evidence exists against the employee.

Metin Topuz is accused of espionage and "attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and constitution".

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Hamza Ulucay, a translator of the U.S. Consulate in the southern province of Adana, was arrested in March for alleged links to outlawed Kurdish militants. "In order to minimise the number of visitors to our embassy and consulates while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all USA diplomatic facilities in Turkey".

In response, the United States stopped issuing non- immigrant visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions in the U.S. to hit back with a tit-for-tat measure of their own. Turkey considers them a terror group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK, which has waged an insurgency within Turkey's borders for more than 30 years.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday stepped up one of the worst rows in decades between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies by saying Turkey no longer regarded ambassador John Bass as the U.S. representative in the country.

"Trying a Turkish citizen for a crime committed in Turkey is our right". The cheering crowd held banners praising Erdogan, while many struggled to shake hands with the Turkish president.

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