World News

US Resumes Visa Services in Turkey, Easing Diplomatic Strains

US Resumes Visa Services in Turkey, Easing Diplomatic Strains

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.

Turkish stocks and country-specific ETF strengthened Thursday after the USA and Turkey lifted all visa restrictions, ending months-long dispute over diplomatic duties.

According to the message, the United States embassy will also restore the issuance of visas to Turkish citizens. But the Turkish embassy in Washington also put out a statement in Turkish disputing the US claim that it had made such guarantees.

Turkey has blamed Gulen, a US-based Muslim leader, of being behind a failed coup attempt previous year, an accusation that Gulen has vehemently denied.

In suspending visas, USA officials cited "recent events" that "forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey".

But the services were so limited that the first interview appointments for Turks seeking most types of U.S. visa were only available from January 2019, causing uproar on social media.




Turkey reciprocated the measure shortly thereafter, blocking non-immigrant visa services for USA citizens.

After receiving assurances its locally employed staff members would not be arrested for performing duties such as communicating with Turkish officials, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the Turkish capital, started processing visas on a "limited" basis in November.

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.

Ankara responded with an identical statement, imposing tit-for-tat travel restrictions, by issuing a statement through its embassy in Washington, saying, "Recent events have forced Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of Turkish Mission facilities and personnel".

The US decision to stop handing out visas was implemented from October and was followed by the tit-for-tat move by Turkey to stop giving Turkish visas to Americans. "Turkey is a state of law, and our government has given no assurances with regards to ongoing judicial processes".


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