USA embassy in Turkey 'partially resumes' visas after month-long pause

USA embassy in Turkey 'partially resumes' visas after month-long pause

U.S. missions in Turkey have resumed processing visa applications by Turkish citizens on a "limited basis" after Turkey reassured Washington that no local staff would be detained or arrested for "performing their duties", the U.S. Embassy said Monday.

However, reportedly there are restrictions on issuance of visas to Turkish citizens.

Last month, U.S. missions suspended all non-immigrant visa services after Turkey's arrest of a USA consulate employee. Turkey also suspended the issuance of visas to USA citizens, according to Trend.

The employee was accused of having links to the group of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for last year's failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Recent events have forced the Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the USA to the security of the Turkish Mission facilities and personnel", the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC, said at the time.

The statement came after a statement by the US' embassy in Ankara, which said that USA received initial high-level assurances from Turkey that there were no additional local employees of U.S. missions under investigation.

More news: Trump Praised the North Koreans as "Great People"

Among the several Americans arrested in Turkey is pastor Andrew Brunson, who ran a church in the western city of Izmir. Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). He was the second local staff member at a USA mission in Turkey to be held.

The US embassy said earlier it was "deeply disturbed" by the arrest, and said the allegations were "wholly without merit", while Turkish authorities claimed they had right to try their citizens for "a crime committed in Turkey". "We are also concerned about the cases against U.S. citizens who have been arrested under the state of emergency", the embassy said.

Gulen denies involvement in the attempted coup.

Washington condemned the move as baseless and damaging to bilateral relations. Erdogan described the USA decision as "upsetting".

Turkey has also been enraged by Washington's support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in the fight against Islamic State.

Their trial is scheduled to start on November 27.

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