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US Visa Row Hinders Trade, Says Turkish Minister

Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci said Tuesday he hoped the visa row between Turkey and the U.S. gets resolved soon since it hinders trade. The Turkey-U.S. visa row was sparked on Oct. 8, when the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced the suspension of non-immigrant visa services to Turkish nationals, following the arrest of a local employee at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara. Speaking at a meeting with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce committee in capital Ankara, Tufenkci said: "I hope the visa suspension will be removed shortly and negotiations will be concluded positively, and contribute to increasing trade volume between the two countries."

Turkey Cancels Justice Ministry Visit to U.S. Due to Visa Row

Turkey's Justice Ministry said on Tuesday it had cancelled a planned study visit to the United States due to the widening diplomatic row between the countries over the issuing of visas.  Local media earlier reported that U.S. authorities had rejected visa requests from members of the delegation, but the Justice Ministry said it had taken the initiative and cancelled the trip.  "Due to the recent visa crisis between the two countries, the visit was cancelled by our Ministry," it said in a statement, adding that there were no visa applications to be rejected. The delegation had planned a study visit to the United States, at the invitation of U.S. authorities, between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4, the ministry said. The pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper said the delegation had planned to study the U.S. penal system and visit American prisons.

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