U.S. says believes in visa crisis settlement between Ankara, Washington

Trevor Jackson
December 29, 2017

The department announced the move Thursday, saying Turkish authorities upheld their promise of not arresting staff at the US embassy or consulates for performing their job duties.

The United States had halted most visa services for Turkish citizens after the October arrest of a Turkish citizen employed at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul.

"We don't find it proper that the USA claims it's received assurances from Turkey and is misinforming the public, despite the fact that we've drawn attention to the issue before", Turkey's Embassy in Washington said.

Both countries restarted visa issuances in November, but only on a limited basis.

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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.

The US embassy drew attention to the fact that since October 2017, the Turkish authorities did not initiate any new actions or investigations against US consulate members in Turkey.

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The US said it had won assurances from Ankara that there are "no additional local employees of our mission in Turkey under investigation".

Turkey, while announcing the end of restrictions on visas to USA citizens, took issue with the U.S. declaration.

"We do not find it right to misinform the Turkish and American publics by saying that assurances have been given", it said.

Turkey had also promised "that local staff of our embassy and consulates will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties" and that it would inform the United States in advance if it intends to detain or arrest any local staff members, the USA embassy statement reads.

USA officials said Thursday "serious concerns" remain about existing allegations against employees that were previously in Turkey.

Washington had condemned the arrest of the consulate employee, a male Turkish citizen, as baseless and damaging to bilateral relations.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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