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Posted On : 9 Oct, 2017  Source : IANS  Place : Istanbul 
Turkey orders arrest of another US consulate worker
Turkish prosecutors on Monday ordered the arrest of a US consulate worker in connection with last year's failed coup in a move set to escalate a diplomatic quarrel between Ankara and Washington hours after both parties mutually imposed visa restrictions on each other on alleged security grounds.

The Turkish police were unable to arrest their latest target as he remained inside US consular grounds. They have instead detained his wife and son for questioning, Efe news agency cited the local media as saying.

According to the report, the police believed that just before the failed coup of July 15, 2016, their suspect's wife deposited a large sum of money into a bank with ties to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic cleric exiled in the US.

Ankara holds Gulen responsible for orchestrating the failed putsch -- an accusation denied by the cleric.

The latest police operation came almost a week after authorities arrested another US consulate employee, Metin Topuz, on the same grounds.

This prompted the US embassy to issue a statement on Sunday evening confirming that it had suspended all non-immigrant visas in its facilities in Turkey.

Ankara implemented tit-for-tat reciprocal measures in a statement released Monday morning identical to the US advisory notice in its wording.

Since the failed coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has embarked on a wave of mass arrests, the majority targeting people with suspected links to Gulen.

Ankara has on several occasions asked the US to extradite the cleric, although it has not submitted a formal request.