US, Turkey to resume full visa services


The United States had halted most visa services for Turkish citizens after the October arrest of a Turkish citizen employed at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul.

General view of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, December 20, 2016.

"We don't find it proper that the USA claims it's received assurances from Turkey and is misinforming the public, despite the fact that we've drawn attention to the issue before", Turkey's Embassy in Washington said.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson on the phone about Washington's decision to lift restrictions on visa services, a diplomatic source said late Thursday.

"On the other hand, also regarding the duration of the case involving Turkish citizens in the United States continues to have serious concerns Turkey.Turkish authorities will continue to negotiate with their American counterparts to ensure that these cases are delivered in a satisfactory manner", it added.

Earlier, the US Embassy in Ankara said in a statement that the issuance of non-immigrant visas to Turkish citizens will be resumed in January 2019, Trend reports.

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The worker had been detained over suspected links to a cleric blamed for last year's failed coup in Turkey.

In suspending visas, USA officials cited "recent events" that "forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey".

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

The Turkish government also agreed to "inform the US government in advance if the government of Turkey intends to detain or arrest any member of our local staff in the future".

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. The embassy stressed, however, that the Turkish government has given no assurances to Washington, refuting the USA embassy's earlier claim.