Tillerson speaks with Turkish counterpart about visa spat

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The US Embassy in Ankara on October 8 announced it had suspended non-immigrant visa services at all diplomatic facilities in Turkey, as response, Turkey's Washington Embassy also suspended non-immigrant visa services in the US, citing security concerns.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on a visit to Washington that Turkey is "safeguarding" the USA employees and "we don't want this dispute to last more than a second". It lasted more than 30 minutes, Turkish media said. Hours later, Ankara issued a similar suspension on visas for USA citizens.

Metin Topuz, a long-standing consulate employee, was arrested last week over alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, which is said to have orchestrated last year's attempted coup in Turkey.

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"I personally find it odd that high-level US officials did not conduct any means of communication with our foreign minister".

During the conversation, Tillerson said Turkey needed to present evidence for the accusations against the consulate employee, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Bozdag said Turkish and US diplomats would meet in the next few days.

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"We maintain a very close collaboration, very close communication, the military-to-military interaction and integration has not been affected by this", Mattis told reporters as he traveled to a military headquarters in Florida.

On Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman said the spat had not affected North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or USA military ties with Turkey. Turkey retaliated by halting visas services in the United States.

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