Sunday, 21 January, 2018

State Dept. to Resume Full Visa Services in Turkey

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Erik Tate | 29 December, 2017, 01:09

Thursday, the State Department said Turkey adhered to "high-level assurances" that there are no local employees under investigation, and that embassy consultants would not be arrested or detained.

Shortly after the USA announcement, Ankara's embassy in Washington announced that Turkish missions in the United States will also resume full visa services for U.S. citizens matching the American move.

"We don't find it proper that the USA claims it's received assurances from Turkey and is misinforming the public, despite the fact that we've drawn attention to the issue before", Turkey's Embassy in Washington said.

In November, the USA and Turkish diplomatic missions said they would each resume non-immigrant visa services "on a limited basis", the first sign that strained relations between the two countries were slowly warming.

Read full story here.

Turkey, while announcing the end of restrictions on visas to U.S. citizens, took issue with the United States declaration.

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"Within the framework of the reciprocity principle, the restrictions on our visa regime for United States citizens were lifted simultaneously", said a statement from the Turkish embassy in Washington D.C.

The U.S. remains concerned about the existing allegations against workers for the U.S. Mission in Turkey as well as allegations against U.S. citizens in the country, which sparked the crisis in October.

That followed the arrest of Metin Topuz - a us consulate employee who was arrested for alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). "US officials will continue to engage with their Turkish counterparts to seek a satisfactory resolution to these cases", the statement added.

However, the Turkish Embassy in Washington rejected those assertions and said Ankara did not provide any assurance related to the ongoing judicial process in Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier called the US move to suspend non-immigrant visa operations at diplomatic facilities in Turkey "upsetting". The embassy stressed, however, that the Turkish government has given no assurances to Washington, refuting the US embassy's earlier claim.

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