US must step back this time

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What the U.S. administration needs to do is end the visa restriction scandal as soon as possible

U.S. nationals landing at Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport this weekend faced an unwelcome surprise, as some had to return before they could enter Turkey.

After all the distance, plans, schedules and wasted expenses.

An American woman who had to return to her country when she landed at the airport said: "I have been to Turkey many times and I am coming. It was a surprise for me. I'm disappointed. What can I do? I have to organize my work and decide what to do."

The reason for all this is the statement issued by the U.S. Embassy recently: "Recent events have forced the United States Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of Turkey to the security of U.S. Mission facilities and personnel. In order to minimize 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 U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey."

After this nonsensical decision, Turkey, like every sovereign state, pursued reciprocity, which is the basic reflex of international relations.

Ankara announced that visa transactions for Americans were suspended, stating the same reasons as those cited by the U.S. Embassy.

Well, what is the reason for the U.S.'s decision to suspend all non-immigrant visa services? U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: "This was coordinated with the State Department, it was coordinated with the White House and coordinated with the NSC [National Security Council]."

According to the statements, the reason is the arrest of Metin Topuz, a U.S. Consulate staffer in Istanbul as part of a judicial investigation.

The claims about Topuz are serious. There are much evidence that he was in contact with the terrorist group of Fetullah Gülen, who is responsible for the July 15 military coup attempt.

The odd thing is that the U.S. did not inform Turkish official authorities about the task of this person at the U.S. Consulate for the sake of whom the State Department risked breaking relations with Turkey, an ally for a half-century.

Do you not think it is odd?

So does State Department not pay attention to Topuz so much so that they do not inform Turkish officials about his work? Why has it raised hell after his detention?

Moreover, Topuz is a citizen of the Republic of Turkey and does not have diplomatic immunity. So, he is equal to us before the law. As Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said, he has no "green passport" like the manager of the Turkish state-run bank who was arrested in the U.S.

Apparently, Topuz is one of the intelligence collecting members of the U.S. in Middle Eastern countries like Turkey.

And Washington, which takes for granted that things run in Turkey as in the past, wants the Turkish judiciary, which works in harmony with the EU legal system, to pay attention to such figures as they used to in the past.

With all due respect, even if the current Turkish government does this, we, as voters, can no longer digest this unequal relationship.

We think that, like the U.S. and other governments, our state should fight against the spies that work against our country. And we cannot accept foreign intervention in our judiciary.

There are no politicians in Turkey who can explain the contrary to the public.

Therefore, we expect the U.S. administration to consider changing regional balances and the awakening of people and end this nonsensical visa restriction as soon as possible. Only then can they expect a step from Ankara.

This is what a realistic and fair development would be.

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