The Turkish Lira has tumbled over 3.15 percent against the dollar on Monday following the suspensions of visas between Turkey and the United States over the week-end after the arrest of an employee of the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul who was detained on September 25th and is facing terror related charges believed to be connected to the support of Fethullah Gulen, a reformer religious leader who is currently hiding in the U.S. and is on Turkey’s most wanted terrorist list tied to the failed coup last year of Turkey’s President Erdogan.
Turkey has demanded the U.S. to extradite Fethullah Gulen to Turkey which the U.S. has refused to do.
Gulen has denied any responsibility for the failed coup against Turkey’s President Erdogan.
The conflict over Gulen’s extradition has raised tensions between the U.S. and Turkey, a NATO member that has allowed the U.S. to use the Incirlik Airbase in the past to conduct air campaigns against ISIS in Syria, even though U.S. support of Kurdish military groups operating in Syria such as YPG has angered Ankara which considers the group to be a military threat.
Turkey has fired upon the YPG in Syrian battlegrounds as it improves ties with Moscow which has considerable sway with the Assad regime in Syria.
On Sunday the U.S. Embassy in Turkey issued a suspension of visas to U.S. citizens following the arrest of the consulate employee and the government of Turkey followed suit by announcing the immediate suspension of visa services to U.S. citizens.
Turkey’s economy is considred an emerging economy and tourism remains an important sector within the country.
Istanbul was the 6th most visited city in the world at its height in 2014 when Turkey gained 42 million tourists but tourism has declined in subsequent years due instability in Turkey related to the purging by President Erdogan and other terrorist attacks in the country.
On September 28th the Department of State issued a new travel warning for U.S. tourists traveling to Turkey.
“Due to the persistent threat of terrorism, the U.S. government restricts travel by U.S. government personnel to certain areas in southeast Turkey and limits the activities of U.S. government personnel and their family members while in Istanbul and Adana. We recommend U.S. citizens carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time, and avoid travel to southeast Turkey. This replaces the travel warning dated March 28, 2017” the new travel warning reads.
During a press conference earlier today from Kiev, Ukraine Turkish President Erdogan described the latest visa rift with Washington as “saddening” according to Hurriyet, a leading news source in Turkey.
Written and Edited By: