United States resumes 'limited' visa services to Turkish citizens

Posted November 07, 2017

An email received by some of the Turkish visa applicants stated the same.

In the U.S. diplomatic missions in Turkey has resumed the process of issuing visas to Turkish citizens, Anadolu reports.

The Turkish government is expected to reciprocate, potentially resolving a diplomatic standoff that began a month ago, following the arrest of a local employee of a US Consulate.

The US decision followed the arrest of a local employee at the US Consulate in Istanbul over alleged links to the the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO).

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But the embassy on Monday said it had received "initial high-level assurances" from Turkey that "no additional local employees of our mission in Turkey (are) under investigation".

"Recent events have forced the Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of the Turkish Mission facilities and personnel", the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC, said at the time.

"Based on these preliminary assurances, we believe the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the resumption of limited visa services in Turkey", the embassy said in a statement. This decision was taken after the arrest of an American diplomat Metin Topusa.

Relations between the U.S. and Turkey, a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation that also plays host to a strategic air base close to the borders with Syria and Iraq, have been strained over the United States refusal to extradite the cleric, Fethullah Gulen.

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In March, a Turkish employee at the U.S. consulate in the southern city of Adana was arrested on charges of supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which both Ankara and Washington consider a terror group.

The US embassy said earlier it was "deeply disturbed" by the arrest, and said the allegations were "wholly without merit", while Turkish authorities claimed they had right to try their citizens for "a crime committed in Turkey".

Meanwhile, members of Erdogan's security detail were indicted by United States authorities after clashes with protesters during an official White House visit in May, infuriating the Turkish president.

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