United States missions in Turkey to resume full visa services after row

Pedestrians pass a giant Turkish national flag handing from a building in Ankara Turkey

Pedestrians pass a giant Turkish national flag handing from a building in Ankara Turkey

Turkey retaliated by taking a similar step.

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.

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

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.

The US Embassy in Turkey says it is resuming normal visa services for Turkish citizens following Ankara's security assurances for local staff at US missions. Turkey retaliated by halting visa services in the US for Americans traveling to Turkey.

Although the embassy said it still remains concerned for its arrested staff in Turkey, the progress in ironing out differences may ease the perception of political risk, a key reason for the lira's weakness against the dollar in the fourth quarter. We are also concerned about the cases against USA citizens who have been arrested under the state of emergency.

"By lifting restrictions on USA visa applications for our citizens, we welcome the decision to return to the old plan as of today. Although we noted earlier, we do not find the right arguing that misinform the American public that Turkey received assurances from the United States and Turkey", the statement said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier called the US move to suspend non-immigrant visa operations at diplomatic facilities in Turkey "upsetting".

However, it said Turkey had given no assurances to the United States about cases being processed by Turkish courts, and that it also had ongoing concerns about Turkish nationals undergoing court cases in the US. The embassy stressed, however, that the Turkish government has given no assurances to Washington, refuting the US embassy's earlier claim.

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