The US Says Visa Services Will Resume In Turkey After Dispute

General view of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara Turkey

USA consular missions in Turkey are set to resume full visa services following a suspension triggered by the arrest of a staff member, the American embassy in Ankara said Thursday, leading Turkey to announce it will also resume full services.

The United States suspended visa activity in October after the arrest of Metin Topuz, a longtime consulate employee who was arrested for alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization - the group behind last year's failed coup attempt in Turkey.

"The Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the full resumption of visa services in Turkey", the U.S. mission said in a statement on Thursday.

The US will reinstate full visa services for Turkish nationals, ending a suspension that lasted more than two months and highlighted strained relations between the two countries, the US diplomatic mission to Turkey has confirmed.

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The State Department will fully resume visa services for Turkish citizens.

Turkey faults the US 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.

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"We find it wrong to misinform the Turkish and the American public by claiming that the USA received assurances from Turkey", the statement said.

U.S. authorities then sought assurances from top Turkish officials that no further staff members would be placed under investigation.

Ankara assured the U.S. that in the future that Turkish authorities will notify Washington in advance about any possible detention/investigation of any USA embassy staff member in Turkey.

A statement released today from the U.S. Embassy in Turkey announced the return to regular operations.

Ankara responded with an identical statement, imposing tit-for-tat travel restrictions, by issuing a statement through its embassy in Washington, saying, "Recent events have forced Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of Turkish Mission facilities and personnel".

The US statement added: "We continue to have serious concerns about the existing allegations against arrested local employees of our mission in Turkey".

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