US Embassy In Turkey Partially Lifts Visa Sanctions

Randolph Lopez
November 7, 2017

"The US Mission in Turkey has resumed processing visas on a limited basis", the embassy said Monday, according to an email seen by Reuters.

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.

In response, Turkey suspended its own non-immigrant visas for U.S. nationals last month.

"The United States has received initial high-level assurances from the government of Turkey that there are no additional local employees of our mission in Turkey under investigation", State Department spokeswomann Heather Nauert said in a written statement announcing the resumption of visa services.

It added that there were also assurances that local staff would not be "detained or arrested for performing their official duties".

In response to the USA embassy's statement, which said "the security posture in Turkey has improved efficiently to resume services", the Turkish embassy said that the remarks do not "reflect the truth".

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The Turkish Embassy in Washington posted a brief statement on Twitter, announcing that it was also resuming "limited" visa services.

The move came on the eve of a four-day visit to the U.S.by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during which he is set to meet with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House, signalling a tentative improvement and easing a almost month-long visa row in bilateral ties.

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

It said the US mission workers detained or arrested in Turkey were not held for their work, but because they were accused of "serious crimes". They include Pastor Andrew Brunson who was detained a year ago and is accused of terror-related charges for alleged ties to Gulen's movement. "US officials will continue to engage with their Turkish counterparts to seek a satisfactory resolution of these cases".

Since last July's coup bid, over 50,000 people have been arrested and accused of links to Gulen and his movement under the state of emergency imposed in July 2016.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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