Published on : Friday, December 29, 2017
The United States has suspended all non immigrant visa services after the arrest of one of its consulate employees in the month of October in 2017. But with the assurance of full security from Turkey’s government on US consular staff, US mission set to resume the visa services.
The worker had been under arrest over suspected links to a cleric blamed for last year’s failed coup in Turkey. The US state department said it was confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently.
Turkey had “adhered to high level assurances” made to the United States.
The US state department said the US had been assured no additional local employees of its missions were under investigation, and that staff would not be detained or arrested performing their official duties.
However, it also said that the condition is so serious that the US citizens in Turkey detained under the state of emergency imposed after the July 2016 coup.
There are at least 11 US citizens currently under arrest in Turkey.
The Turkish embassy in Washington welcomed the US decision and said visa restrictions for US citizens imposed since the start of the dispute would also be lifted. However, it said Turkey had given no assurances to the United States about cases being processed by Turkish courts, and that it still had concerns about Turkish nationals undergoing court cases in the United States.
Washington also condemned the arrest of the consulate employee, a male Turkish citizen, as baseless and damaging to bilateral relations.
The US mission in Ankara said that the government had suspended all non-immigrant visa services in order to “reassess” Turkey’s commitment to staff security.