Row with Turkey not affecting military activities: Pentagon
Washington: The Pentagon has said diplomatic tension between the US and Turkey has not affected their military activities.
“I can confirm that these developments have not impacted our operations or personnel,” Pentagon Spokesman Robert Manning told reporters here on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
“The Turkish air force base in Incirlik continues to fulfill an important role supporting NATO and coalition efforts,” he added.
The US and Turkey on Sunday indefinitely halted all non-immigrant visa services to each other’s citizens amid deepening differences between the two NATO allies.
The US Embassy in Ankara made the first move by releasing a statement saying that “recent events have forced the US government to reassess the commitment of the Turkish Government to the security of US diplomatic facilities and personnel.”
The Turkish Embassy in Washington retaliated immediately by issuing a similar statement that mirrored the one by the US.
The spat between the two countries was ignited by the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, a US consulate worker in Istanbul who was accused of suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, who is a Pennsylvania-based cleric blacklisted by Ankara for orchestrating last year’s failed coup in Turkey.
Ankara has repeatedly demanded for the extradition of Gulen, while the requests were rejected by Washington as the latter asked for more evidence.