The US Resumes with Issuing Visas to Turkish Citizens

The US Resumes with Issuing Visas to Turkish Citizens

The US Resumes with Issuing Visas to Turkish Citizens

The US has begun to accept non-immigrant visa applications in Turkey on a limited basis, the US Embassy in Ankara said.

The visa crisis erupted after Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee working in the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, was arrested on charges of espionage and over his links to FETÖ, the group blamed for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 249 people in Turkey.

The two countries on Monday partially restored visa services after a almost month-long row over the arrest of Turkish staffers of a USA mission for alleged Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) ties.

A USA embassy statement said it had received "high-level assurances" from Turkey that no additional local employees were under investigation.

"Turkish authorities will inform the US Government in advance if the Government of Turkey intends to detain or arrest a member of our local staff in the future", read the statement.

Turkey's embassy in Washington has also said it will process visa applications from USA citizens on a limited basis.

The Turkish Embassy in Washington posted a brief statement on Twitter, announcing that it was also resuming "limited" visa services.

"The personnel in question employed by the U.S. has been the subject of a judicial process, not because of his official duties, but because of very serious charges against him", Ankara said in a statement. The move comes on the eve of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's visit to Washington.

The interior ministry said on Monday that almost 700 people had been detained over the previous week on allegations of ties to what Ankara calls the "Gulenist Terror Group". They include Pastor Andrew Brunson who was detained a year ago and is accused of terror-related charges for alleged ties to Gulen's movement.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied the charge and condemned the coup.

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