Sunday, 23 September, 2018


Turkey, US resume limited mutual visa services

REUTERS  Murad Sezer World World Tension Over Detentions In Turkey As U.S. Visas Resume By Reuters
Conrad Doyle | 10 November, 2017, 10:53

The United States said on Monday it would resume "limited visa services" in Turkey after getting what it said were assurances about the safety of its local staff. Washington halted issuing visas at its missions in Turkey last month, citing the detention of two local employees.

Turkey has protested US support for the PKK/PYD, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization by Turkey and the USA, while Washington sees it as a "reliable ally" in its fight against ISIL in Syria. This is certainly a step in the right direction.

Turkey has requested from the USA the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, the head of FETO, who is accused of being behind a deadly failed coup that martyred 250 people. That's among the things that we were assured.

Turkey's embassy, in their statement, said "Turkey also has very serious concerns about ongoing cases against Turkish citizens in the U.S." and said none of the Turkish employees working for the United States embassy were under investigation for their service. It is a part of their job description", she said."For Turkey to put people in jail and claim that they are involved in activities when they're simply doing their jobs we think is incorrect.

On Monday, the USA said it would resume "limited visa services" in Turkey after getting what it said were assurances about the safety of its local staff.

Within hours of the USA announcement on October 8, Turkey said it was implementing reciprocal measures and President Tayyip Erdogan later angrily accused Washington of sacrificing a longstanding alliance with Ankara.

This Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey announced visa applications were again being processed on a limited basis at its diplomatic missions in Turkey.

News of the partial resumption, reported by Reuters earlier, had helped the lira strengthen to 3.8356 to the dollar from 3.8708 beforehand.

In May, a translator at the U.S. consulate in the southern province of Adana was arrested and, more recently, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) worker was detained in Istanbul.

The US move was in response to the arrest of a US consulate staffer accused of having links to the group of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. They were later released.

Gulen denies any involvement in the failed coup.

Turkish officials arrested two staff members this year. Zarrab, who is due to go on trial this month, has pleaded not guilty.

Following the USA move, Turkish missions in the US also resumed processing visa applications of US citizens at its diplomatic and consular missions in the USA, also on a "limited basis".

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