U.S. embassy in Turkey 'partially resumes' visas after month-long pause

Katrina Barker
November 7, 2017

Following the initial fallout, Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned a USA diplomat, calling on him to urge the United States to lift the visa suspension, saying it was causing "unnecessary tensions", Reuters reported.

U.S. missions in Turkey have resumed processing visa applications by Turkish citizens on a "limited basis" after Turkey reassured Washington that no local staff would be detained or arrested for "performing their duties", the U.S. Embassy said Monday.

The US embassy suspended visa services after one of the Istanbul consulate's Turkish staffers was arrested, saying it needed to carry out a security assessment.

Turkey reciprocated the move and announced a resumption of limited visa processing at its diplomatic missions in the United States via a statement on Twitter.

On Monday, the USA mission said the decision to resume issuing the visas cames after it "received initial high-level assurances" from the Turkish government that its local staff are not under investigation.

Turkish authorities, commenting on the arrest of the Consulate General's employee, noted that he had links with the movement of Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey blames Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric, for orchestrating last year's failed coup attempt.

An email from USA visa services received by some Turkish visa applicants said applications were being processed on a limited basis at US diplomatic representations in Turkey.

The Turkish Embassy in Washington tweeted soon after the American statement was released that the Turkish government would begin to process visa applications of U.S. citizens on a "limited basis" as well. Erdogan described the USA decision as "upsetting". Gulen has denied the accusation.

Turkey has also been enraged by Washington's support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in the fight against Islamic State.

In March, a Turkish employee at the USA 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.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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