Visa services resume between U.S. and Turkey

The United States and Turkey lifted all visa restrictions on Thursday after Washington said Ankara had kept to assurances that no other U.S. mission staff would be targeted for performing official duties.

Turkey isn't the only place in which the US has slashed visa services as a result of poor diplomatic relations.

Washington D.C. [United States], December 28: The United States and Turkey are going to resume full capacity visa proceedings for each other's citizens after a months-long diplomatic row.

Turkey reciprocated the measure shortly thereafter, blocking non-immigrant visa services for U.S. citizens.

The U.S. remains concerned about the existing allegations against workers for the U.S. Mission in Turkey as well as allegations against U.S. citizens in the country, which sparked the crisis in October.

Turkey faults the USA for refusing to hand over Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania resident who Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for a July 2016 coup attempt.

But the services were so limited that the first interview appointments for Turks seeking most types of U.S. visa were only available from January 2019, causing uproar on social media.

The State Department has not announced a date for when visa services will fully resume. "Ankara has assured the USA at the highest level about the cessation of arrests or any further investigation of any embassy staff of U.S. consulate general - the representatives of the United States embassy said".

The department announced the move Thursday, saying Turkish authorities upheld their promise of not arresting staff at the USA embassy or consulates for performing their job duties.

The Turkish embassy in Washington said, however, that it had not offered any assurances to the U.S. over its detained staff. "Turkey is a state of law, and our government has given no assurances with regards to ongoing judicial processes".

  • Rogelio Becker