Visa services resume between U.S. and Turkey

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

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".

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced the full return of visa services in Turkey via its social media account earlier on the same day, ending the so-called visa crisis between the two countries.

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

Later on Thursday, the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC, which had also blocked some visa services for USA nationals, said it "welcome [d] the decision" by the U.S. and would end its own visa restrictions.

However, the state department also said it still had serious concerns about allegations against its arrested local employees and about cases against U.S. citizens who have been detained under the state of emergency.

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The move comes two months after the USA suspended most visa services to Turkish citizens after one of its consulate employees was arrested.

Turkey had also promised "that local staff of our embassy and consulates will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties" and that it would inform the U.S. in advance if it intends to detain or arrest any local staff members, the U.S. embassy statement reads.

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. In November, Washington said it was resuming limited services upon getting assurances on the safety of its local staff.

The U.S. claimed the decision came after Turkey reassured officials that local employees would not be subjected to additional scrutiny.

But a statement issued by Turkey denies giving the United States any such assurances.

The diplomatic conflict increased tensions between the United States and Turkey, NATO allies that have seen their ties deteriorate since a coup attempt previous year that the Turkish government blames on a Muslim cleric who lives in the U.S.