Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

USA resumes visa services in Turkey on "limited basis"

US embassy in Turkey resuming visa issuing on ‘limited basis US Embassy in Turkey resumes visa processing on 'limited basis'
Andrew Cummings | 07 November, 2017, 01:09

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

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 U.S. Mission in Turkey has resumed processing visas on a limited basis".

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 United States has received initial high-level assurances from the government of Turkey that there are no additional local employees of our mission in Turkey under investigation", State Department spokeswomann Heather Nauert said in a written statement announcing the resumption of visa services.

The move came after a USA consulate staff member in Istanbul was arrested for allegedly having ties to Fethullah Gulen.

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Metin Topuz was formally charged with espionage and seeking to overthrow the Turkish government last month, accusations the USA embassy in Ankara said at the time were "wholly without merit".

The Turkish embassy in Washington said nearly immediately it would match the move, announced on the eve of a visit to the United States by Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. This decision was taken after the arrest of an American diplomat Metin Topusa.

Turkey has pressed Washington for the extradition of the Pennsylvania-based Gulen, who denies any link to the coup bid. Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

In addition, Nauert said the United States had received assurances that local staff at USA diplomatic facilities in Turkey "will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties" and that the Turkish government would inform U.S. officials in advance of any plans to detain or arrest local staff going forward.

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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