Skip to main content

Erdogan targets US envoy over escalating visa row

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried to blame the suspension of Turkish visa applications to the United States on outgoing Ambassador John Bass, but US administration sources say Bass acted with full White House support and analysts judge the suspension of consular services as inevitable, if harsh.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic (not in the picture) after their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, October 10, 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica - RC13E1AA15B0

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to shift the blame for escalating tensions with the United States on outgoing US Ambassador John Bass today. Speaking in Belgrade on the second leg of an Eastern European tour, Erdogan said neither he nor any members of his Cabinet would receive Bass for farewell visits. “We do not consider him as legitimate envoy of the United States,” Erdogan said.

The latest row between the two NATO allies erupted when the United States announced Oct. 8 that it was indefinitely suspending all non-immigrant visa applications for Turkish citizens inside Turkey. Western diplomats commenting on the measure to Al-Monitor called it “drastic” and “unprecedented” and the clearest expression yet of the rapidly unraveling strategic relationship between Turkey and the United States.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.