USA missions in Turkey partially resume visa issuing

07 November, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • US resumes limited visa services in Turkey diplomatic source

Turkey is "deeply concerned" about legal cases concerning Turkish citizens in the United States, its embassy in Washington said on Monday, adding the decision to partially resume issuing visas at US and Turkish missions was a positive development.

However, reportedly there are restrictions on issuance of visas to Turkish citizens.

The Turkey-US visa dispute started on October 8, when the US Embassy in Ankara announced the suspension of non-immigrant visa services to Turkish nationals.

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

Easing a almost month-long visa logjam and row in bilateral relations, United States missions in Turkey on Monday said they had begun to accept visa application on a limited basis, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

It added that there were also assurances that local staff would not be "detained or arrested for performing their official duties". This decision was taken after the arrest of an American diplomat Metin Topusa.

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It said the US mission workers detained or arrested in Turkey were not held for their work, but because they were accused of "serious crimes". He was the second local staff member at a US mission in Turkey to be held.

Since last July's coup bid, over 50,000 people have been arrested and accused of links to Gulen and his movement under the state of emergency imposed in July 2016.

Washington condemned the move as baseless and damaging to bilateral relations.

Turkey blames Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric, for orchestrating last year's failed coup attempt. Erdogan described the United States decision as "upsetting".

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

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