Turkish Airlines offers refunds as US suspends visas
On October 9, 2017, Turkish Airlines started offering refunds to the passengers flying to the US from Istanbul. The decision came after the US suspended the issuance of visas for Turkish citizens over a diplomatic dispute stemming from the arrest of a US consulate employee in Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet’s passengers who bought their tickets before October 9, 2017, will be able to get a refund if they cannot fly with the carriers. Also the validity of tickets can be extended to October 31, 2017, without paying any price difference. These changes do not affect passengers transferring to connecting flights in Istanbul.
„All passengers holding Turkish passports flying to the United States, and all passengers holding American passports flying to Turkey through October 31, 2017, on Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet flights can make reservation changes free of charge,“ the airlines say in an official statement. „Passengers can also request for a refund on tickets which have not been used. Tickets can also be extended to October 31, 2107. To be eligible tickets must have been issued on or before October 9, 2017.“
Recently Turkish officials arrested a US consulate employee in Istanbul, claiming that he had links with US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed by the Turkish government for a failed military coup in July 2016. The US embassy said there were no reasons for the arrest. On October 8, 2017, the US embassy in Ankara announced it was halting all non-immigrant visa services in Turkey, prompting Turkey to do the same.
„Recent events have forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of government of Turkey to the security of US mission and personnel,“ the US embassy said in its official statement. According to the statement, in order to minimize the number of visitors to US embassy and consulates all non-immigrant visa services at all US diplomatic facilities in Turkey have been suspended.
„This decision is very, very saddening. For the Ankara US embassy to take a decision like this, to put into practice is saddening,“ said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a news conference in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
According to BBC, Turkey has also suspended visa services in USA.
The diplomatic spat spooked investors. Airlines’ shares were particularly hard hit, with flag carrier Turkish Airlines falling 9%, Reuters informs.
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