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United States embassy in Turkey starts to issue visas

07 November 2017

U.S. missions in Turkey have resumed processing visa applications by Turkish citizens on a "limited basis" after Turkey reassured Washington that no local staff would be detained or arrested for "performing their duties", the U.S. Embassy said Monday.

Turkey's embassy in Washington has also said it will process visa applications from USA citizens on a limited basis.

The US embassy suspended visa services after one of the Istanbul consulate's Turkish staffers was arrested, saying it needed to carry out a security assessment.

The very next day the Turkish Embassy in the USA announced the suspension of the issuance of nonimmigrant visas to found courtesy of my American, the mirror answering a similar move in Washington.

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"The reference to the security situation in the Embassy's statement does not reflect the truth, and is considered odd since Turkey has taken all the necessary measures for the security of all diplomatic and consular missions in Turkey, including those of the USA, and as the USA side stated at every occasion that there is no need for additional measures", the embassy said.

A USA embassy statement said it had received "high-level assurances" from Turkey that no additional local employees were under investigation. He has been held in Turkey since October 2016 on charges of being a member of Gulen's group. Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Regarding Turkish citizens detained in the USA, the embassy said that Turkey "has very serious concerns".

"We continue to have serious concerns about the existing cases against arrested local employees of our mission in Turkey".

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The mutual halt in the issuing of visas had become the most painful symbol of an increasingly troubled relationship between Washington and Ankara.

Relations between the U.S. and Turkey, a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation that also plays host to a strategic air base close to the borders with Syria and Iraq, have been strained over the United States refusal to extradite the cleric, Fethullah Gulen.

During the four-day visit, Yildirim is set to meet Vice President Mike Pence at the White House.

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United States embassy in Turkey starts to issue visas