Tensions with Turkey have not affected US military operations: report

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Pentagon officials said Tuesday that an ongoing diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the United States has not affected military operations or personnel in the country, according to Reuters.

“I can confirm that these developments have not impacted our operations or personnel,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning told reporters at the Pentagon.

“The Turkish air force base in Incirlik continues to fulfill an important role supporting NATO and coalition efforts.” 

Turkey remains a close NATO ally and the U.S. would continue to coordinate joint and separate military activities with Ankara, Manning said.

The remarks follow increasing tensions between the two countries in recent months.

The U.S. on Sunday halted “all non-immigrant visa services” at its diplomatic facilities in Turkey. The visa decision came after a U.S. consulate employee was arrested in Turkey for terrorism charges.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara said it was “deeply disturbed” by the arrest.

“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,” embassy officials said in a statement.

Turkey hit back by ceasing its own visa services for U.S. citizens. 

The U.S. and Turkey have been embroiled in the heightening dispute for months. During a visit to Washington in May, Turkish President Recep Erdoğan stoked controversy when his bodyguards were caught on film roughing up protesters outside of the Turkish ambassador’s residence.

A grand jury in late August indicted 19 defendants, including 15 Turkish security officials, over charges stemming from the attack.



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