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US Announces Full Resumption of Visa Services in Turkey

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet, AA - ANKARA -  The U.S. Embassy in Turkey on Thursday announced the resumption of full visa services after nearly two months. On Oct. 8, the embassy suspended non-immigrant visas to Turkish nationals following the arrest of a local employee working at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara. Metin Topuz, a long-standing consulate employee, was arrested over alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, the group behind last year’s coup attempt in Turkey. In a statement posted on Twitter, the U.S. Embassy said the Turkish government had “adhered to the high-level assurances it provided to the United States” that no other local employees were under investigation.

It added that Ankara had similarly abided by assurances that local staff “will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties... and that Turkish authorities will inform the U.S. government in advance if the government of Turkey intends to detain or arrest any member of our local staff in the future.

“Based on adherence to these assurances, the Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the full resumption of visa services in Turkey.”

On Nov. 4, the U.S. Embassy announced it would process limited visa applications in Turkey, leading to the resumption of some visa services at Turkish missions in the U.S.

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