United States missions in Turkey to resume full visa services after row

Saul Bowman
December 29, 2017

Turkey retaliated by taking a similar step.

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

United States embassy in Ankara to resume full visa services in Turkey, ending a suspension lasting more than two months.

Earlier on Thursday, the State Department released a statement that indicated visa services in Turkey had been fully restored.

FETO and its US -based leader, Fetullah Gulen, are also suspected of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the Turkish state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

US missions stopped issuing visas to Turkish citizens in October after a local employee of the US Consulate in Istanbul was detained in a probe into last year's coup attempt.

It also said Turkey was seriously concerned about legal cases in the US involving Turkish citizens.

"We find it wrong to misinform the Turkish and the American public by claiming that the USA received assurances from Turkey", the statement said.

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

The Turkish embassy in Washington said, however, that it had not offered any assurances to the United States over its detained staff.

However, the Turkish Embassy in Washington rejected those assertions and said Ankara did not provide any assurance related to the ongoing judicial process in Turkey.

But a statement issued by Turkey denies giving the U.S. any such assurances.

Relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have become strained in the past year with Turkey angered by what it sees as USA reluctance to hand over Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for the coup attempt in July of 2016.

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