Published: Fri, November 10, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

USA resumes limited visa services in Turkey

USA resumes limited visa services in Turkey

Following the USA resumption, Turkish missions in the US also resumed limited visa services for USA citizens.

The US embassy confirmed in a statement on Monday that it received "initial high-level assurances" from the Turkish Government that there are no additional local employees of the US mission in Turkey under investigation, Xinhua news agency reported.

Turkey has protested US support for the PKK/PYD, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization by Turkey and the USA, while Washington sees it as a "reliable ally" in its fight against ISIL in Syria.

The diplomatic row began after the United States made a decision to stop handing out visas in Turkey from October 8, which was followed nearly immediately by a tit-for-tat move by Ankara to stop issuing Turkish visas for Americans.

Within hours of the USA announcement on October 8, Turkey said it was implementing reciprocal measures and President Tayyip Erdogan later angrily accused Washington of sacrificing a longstanding alliance with Ankara.

US missions in Ankara and Istanbul announced that they have resumed limited processing of all non-immigrant visa services, with priority to special cases. However, the detained employees of the U.S. embassy had "very serious charges" and has pending cases, Turkey said.

The US has begun to accept non-immigrant visa applications in Turkey on a limited basis, the US Embassy in Ankara said. Both are accused of links to last year' failed coup. We continue to have serious concerns about the existing cases against arrested local employees of our Mission in Turkey.

Turkish officials have said police want to question a third worker based in Istanbul.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chairman Mehmet Mus, parliamentarians Volkan Bozkir and Mustafa Sentop as well as Turkey's Ambassador to the US Serdar Kilic were also present at the two-hour long meeting.

In their statement, the Turkish embassy said Turkey had "serious concerns" about legal cases concerning its citizens in the United States, and added that Turkish and USA officials would continue to hold meetings to resolve the cases in a "satisfactory" manner.

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