USA embassy announces end to visa crisis with Turkey

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"In response to assurances from the Turkish side, the US State Department came to the conclusion that the security situation in Turkey is quite good for the resumption of visa services, the embassy officials said".

According to the embassy, Ankara assured the USA embassy that there were no additional local employees under investigation, that the local staff will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties and that Turkish authorities will inform the US government in advance if any local staff face detention.

"The Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the full resumption of visa services in Turkey", it said.

Turkey has blamed Gulen, a US-based Muslim leader, of being behind a failed coup attempt past year, an accusation that Gulen has vehemently denied.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. has also lifted visa restrictions for the USA citizens.

But the services were so limited that the first interview appointments for Turks seeking most types of United States visa were only available from January 2019, causing uproar on social media.

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

"By lifting restrictions on USA visa applications for our citizens, we welcome the decision to return to the old plan as of today".

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

The crisis was triggered when United States consulate staffer Metin Topuz was formally charged with espionage and seeking to overthrow the Turkish government last month, accusations the United States embassy in Ankara said at the time were "wholly without merit".

The statement said the U.S. 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, the Turkish Embassy in Washington rejected those assertions and said Ankara did not provide any assurance related to the ongoing judicial process in Turkey.

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