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Turkey, US resume limited mutual visa services
07 November 2017, 01:13 | Kara Nash
US resumes limited visa services in Turkey diplomatic source
Turkish embassy in Washington denied that Turkey had given assurances to the USA authorities about the ongoing cases in the country.
Turkey's embassy in Washington has also said it will process visa applications from United States citizens on a limited basis.
Last month, the United States halted most visa services for Turkish citizens after Turkish authorities arrested Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee at the USA consulate in Istanbul, deepening already strained ties between Ankara and Washington. Turkey also suspended the issuance of visas to USA citizens, according to Trend.
The US decision followed the arrest of a local employee at the US Consulate in Istanbul over alleged links to the the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO).
"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.
On Monday, the United States mission said the decision to resume issuing the visas cames after it "received initial high-level assurances" from the Turkish government that its local staff are not under investigation.
It added that there were also assurances that local staff would not be "detained or arrested for performing their official duties".
The US embassy said earlier it was "deeply disturbed" by the arrest, and said the allegations were "wholly without merit", while Turkish authorities claimed they had right to try their citizens for "a crime committed in Turkey".
In March, a Turkish employee at the United States consulate in the southern city of Adana was arrested on charges of supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which both Ankara and Washington consider a terror group.
The mutual halt in the issuing of visas had become the most painful symbol of an increasingly troubled relationship between Washington and Ankara.
The status of Fetullah Gulen has been a source of great tension between Turkey and United States, as Washington repeatedly refused to extradite the cleric who now lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pensylvania.
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