U.S. to resume full visa services in Turkey

Kristopher Drake
December 29, 2017

The United States and Turkey lifted all visa restrictions on Thursday after Washington said Ankara had kept to assurances that no other U.S. mission staff would be targeted for performing official duties.

On Oct. 8, the US suspended issuance of visas to Turkish citizens due to the arrest of an employee of the US Consulate General in Istanbul.

Turkey isn't the only place in which the US has slashed visa services as a result of poor diplomatic relations.

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 department announced the move Thursday, saying Turkish authorities upheld their promise of not arresting staff at the USA embassy or consulates for performing their job duties.

It said that Washington continued to have concerns about the two employees detained.

Following this, the Embassy of Turkey in Washington announced the resumption of the process of issuing visas to United States citizens in response to a similar decision by the American side.

Turkey's lira firmed to 3.78 against the United States dollar after the statement, its highest level since 31 October, and the main share index BIST100 climbed 2.08 percent to reach its highest closing level ever.

Erdogan, who has been accused by witnesses in the case of being involved in the scheme, has slammed the trial, calling it a "clear plot" by Gulen.

Non-immigrant visas include student, tourist, media and work visas. The embassy stressed, however, that the Turkish government has given no assurances to Washington, refuting the USA embassy's earlier claim.

Turkey had "adhered to high level assurances" made to the USA, it said. "Turkey is a state of law, and our government has given no assurances with regards to ongoing judicial processes".

Turkey has for months been pressing Washington to extradite US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen over his alleged role in the botched coup in July 2016.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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