United States to resume visas in Turkey after 2-month suspension

29 December, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • US Resumes Visa Services in Turkey, Easing Diplomatic Strains

The US believes in the settlement of the visa crisis between Ankara and Washington, the US embassy in Turkey said in a message December 28. State Department says all visa services will resume in Turkey after tensions peaked earlier in 2017.

"We welcome the decision of the United States to resume as of today regular visa procedures, by lifting the restrictions applied to our citizens", the Turkish Embassy in the USA said in a statement.

But Turkey swiftly denied having granted such assurances in the affair that has tested relations since two local employees of the United States consulate in Istanbul were held on suspicion of ties to last year's failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

We continue to have serious concerns about the existing allegations against arrested local employees of our Mission in Turkey.

That followed the arrest of Metin Topuz - a us consulate employee who was arrested for alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

"Based on adherence to these assurances, the Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the full resumption of visa services in Turkey", the department said.

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The State Department will fully resume visa services for Turkish citizens.

"By lifting restrictions on USA visa applications for our citizens, we welcome the decision to return to the old plan as of today".

The embassy began processing visas on a "limited" basis in November following reassurances from Turkey.

Turkey was pleased by the announcement but hit back regarding the statement issued by the USA, saying that it had provided no such assurances in relations to ongoing legal issues.

The Turkish embassy in Washington said, however, that it had not offered any assurances to the USA over its detained staff.

The statement said the USA had been assured no additional local employees of its missions were under investigation and that staff would not be detained or arrested performing their official duties.

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