US Embassy in Turkey: First visa appointments available in Jan. 2019

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The U.S. Embassy in Turkey announced Tuesday that it would resume accepting appointments for visa applications in January, ending weeks of stalled operations due to a spat between the two countries.

The embassy tweeted Tuesday that it would begin accepting appointments on Jan. 19. 

“In spite of long wait times, the U.S. Mission to Turkey continues to process non-immigrant visas. Appointments are available for January 2019, and applicants can as always choose to apply outside of Turkey,” it said.

The tweet comes after the U.S. resumed “limited visa services” in November after both countries enacted a visa ban the month before. Turkey matched the move and ended its visa ban, but denied to Reuters that the country had offered assurances to the Trump administration about the safety of U.S. staffers.

Two U.S. citizens — a Drug Enforcement Administration official and a translator — were arrested this year on suspicion of aiding a coup aimed at taking out Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Turkish government has accused a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, of orchestrating the failed coup attempt.

Gulen, who has lived in Pennsylvania since 1999, has so far successfully resisted Turkish attempts to extradite him. U.S. Embassy officials have called claims that U.S. personnel aided Gulen and his forces “baseless.”

In November, Trump and Erdoğan spoke on the phone, during which Trump pledged that the U.S. would cease arming Syrian Kurdish fighters in the neighboring country’s civil war.

“Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East,” Trump tweeted in November. “I will get it all done, but what a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!”



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