Turkey, US resume visa services on “limited basis”

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The move comes ahead of a visit to the United States by Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

The partial resumption of US visa services in Turkey comes on the eve of a four-day visit to the US by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during which he is set to meet Vice President Mike Pence at the White House.
The partial resumption of US visa services in Turkey comes on the eve of a four-day visit to the US by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during which he is set to meet Vice President Mike Pence at the White House.
(Reuters)

The US and Turkey said on Monday they resumed “limited” mutual visa services following an almost month-long suspension in a diplomatic row between the two NATO allies ahead of the Turkish premier’s visit to Washington.

The US decision to stop handing out visas took effect from October 8 and was followed by a tit-for-tat move by Turkey to stop giving Turkish visas to Americans.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will go to the US on Tuesday November 7 for a visit until November 10, during which he is due to hold talks with US Vice President Mike Pence. 

The website of US Embassy and Consulates in Turkey said: “The US Mission in Turkey has resumed processing non-immigrant visas on a limited basis.” 

An email received by some of the Turkish visa applicants stated the same.

“Applicants who wish to travel to the United States may now reschedule appointments. Please note, however, that limited appointment availability could result in longer than normal wait times,” the email added.

The US embassy added: “We have received initial high-level assurances from the government of Turkey that there are no additional local employees of our mission in Turkey under investigation.”

“We have also received initial assurances from the government of Turkey that our local staff will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties.”

Hours later, however, the Turkish embassy said it had not given the United States any assurances, and that any decision regarding legal procedures on US mission workers would be left to Turkey’s judiciary.

“The personnel in question employed by the US has been the subject of a judicial process not because of his official duties, but because of very serious charges against him,” it said in a statement.

It also said a reference to the security conditions of US missions in Turkey in the US embassy’s statement was “considered odd” and did not reflect the truth.

The Turkey-US visa dispute started on October 8, when the US Embassy in Ankara announced the suspension of non-immigrant visa services to Turkish nationals.

The US decision followed the arrest of a local employee at the US Consulate in Istanbul over alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), the group blamed for the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.

The move prompted a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.

TRT World’s
Andrew Hopkins has the latest from Ankara.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies





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