U.S. embassy in Turkey starts to issue visas

Posted November 07, 2017

Turkey is "deeply concerned" about legal cases concerning Turkish citizens in the United States, its embassy in Washington said on Monday, adding the decision to partially resume issuing visas at USA and Turkish missions was a positive development.

In response to the United States 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".

Turkey and the United State mutually suspended all non-immigrant visa services on October 8, after Turkey's arrest of a U.S. consulate employee. Turkey also suspended the issuance of visas to USA citizens, according to Trend.

The move came after a United States consulate staff member in Istanbul was arrested for allegedly having ties to Fethullah Gulen.

"Recent events have forced the Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the U.S. to the security of the Turkish Mission facilities and personnel", the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC, said at the time.

"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.

Topuz was detained on charges of espionage and alleged ties to Gulen.

Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, on September 24, 2013. He was the second local staff member at a USA mission in Turkey to be held.

The U.S. embassy said it continues to "have serious concerns about the existing cases against arrested local employees" as well as the cases of other arrested U.S. citizens. "We are also concerned about the cases against USA citizens who have been arrested under the state of emergency", the embassy said.

The US worker was held over suspected links to a cleric blamed for last year's failed coup in Turkey.

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

Turkish officials had expressed hope of a new page in Ankara-Washington relations under US President Donald Trump and Yildirim's trip has been billed as the latest attempt to revive ties.