US Resumes Visa Services in Turkey, Easing Diplomatic Strains

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However, the state department also said it still had serious concerns about allegations against its arrested local employees and about cases against U.S. citizens who have been detained under the state of emergency. But the Turkish embassy in Washington also put out a statement in Turkish disputing the US claim that it had made such guarantees.

In November, Washington said it was resuming limited services upon getting assurances on the safety of its local staff.

Based on several assurances given by Ankara, "the Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow the full resumption of visa services in Turkey", the US embassy statement said.

On Oct. 8, the US suspended issuance of visas to Turkish citizens due to the arrest of an employee of the US Consulate General in Istanbul.

Turkey was pleased by the announcement but hit back regarding the statement issued by the USA, saying that it had provided no such assurances in relations to ongoing legal issues.

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.

The Turkish embassy in Washington said, however, that it had not offered any assurances to the United States over its detained staff.

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The U.S. claimed the decision came after Turkey reassured officials that local employees would not be subjected to additional scrutiny.

In a reciprocal move, Turkey also lifted restrictions on visa services for American citizens, according to the embassy.

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

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

The embassy said Turkish authorities gave assurances that they will detain no local staff employed by U.S. missions for performing their official duties.

In March, a Turkish employee at the United States consulate in the southern city of Adana was also arrested on charges of supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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