State Dept. to Resume Full Visa Services in Turkey

US Resumes Visa Services in Turkey, Easing Diplomatic Strains

United States missions in Turkey are to resume full visa services following security assurances from Turkey's government on USA consular staff.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke with his USA counterpart Rex Tillerson on the phone about Washington's decision to lift restrictions on visa services, a diplomatic source said late Thursday.

The US Embassy said in a statement on Thursday that "the Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow the full resumption of visa services in Turkey".

U.S. embassy in Ankara to resume full visa services in Turkey, ending a suspension lasting more than two months.

FETO and its USA -based leader, Fetullah Gulen, are also suspected of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the Turkish state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

But Turkey swiftly denied having granted such assurances in the affair that has tested relations since two local employees of the United States consulate in Istanbul were held on suspicion of ties to last year's failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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It also said Turkey was seriously concerned about legal cases in the USA involving Turkish citizens.

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

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.

After receiving assurances its locally employed staff members would not be arrested for performing duties such as communicating with Turkish officials, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the Turkish capital, started processing visas on a "limited" basis in November.

The Turkish government wants the U.S. to extradite Gulen to Turkey, for his alleged involvement in the failed coup.

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