Turkish Lira falls after US, Turkey suspend visa services

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Fake US Dollar and Turkish Lira currency often used as a novelty gift is seen for sale at a tobacco shop in a market on December 5, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Chris McGrath | Getty Images

Fake US Dollar and Turkish Lira currency often used as a novelty gift is seen for sale at a tobacco shop in a market on December 5, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The dollar fetched as much as 3.7694 lira on Monday during Asian trade, compared with around 3.616 lira on Friday — a move of over 4 percent. That’s not too far off from the lira’s record low of around 3.9407 per dollar, touched in January. The dollar was at 3.7225 lira at 8:45 a.m. HK/SIN.

The decline came in the wake of rising tensions between the two NATO members.

On Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital said on Twitter that “recent events” had forced Washington to reassess Ankara’s commitment to the security of the U.S. mission and its personnel. All non-immigrant visa services had been suspended “effective immediately,” the embassy added.

The embassy was likely referring to the recent arrest of a U.S. consulate employee by Turkish authorities. A Turkish national, Metin Topuz was arrested for alleged ties to Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for last year’s attempted coup.

The U.S. has refused to extradite Gulen to Turkey, reportedly due to a lack of convincing evidence of his involvement in 2016’s failed coup. Gulen has previously denied involvement in the attempted putsch, which killed more than 230 and led to the arrest of more than 50,000.

Turkey’s embassy in Washington, D.C. quickly followed the footsteps of the U.S. and also suspended non-immigrant visa services in a similarly worded statement on Twitter.





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