The United States (US) has begun to accept non-immigrant visa applications in Turkey on a limited basis, the US Embassy in Ankara said. The United States embassy confirmed in a statement on Monday that it received “initial high-level assurances” from the Turkish Government that there are no additional local employees of the US mission in Turkey under investigation, Xinhua news agency reported. “Turkish authorities will inform the US Government in advance if the Government of Turkey intends to detain or arrest a member of our local staff in the future,” read the statement.
“Based on these preliminary assurances, we believe the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the resumption of the limited visa services in the Turkey.”The Embassy said the US continues to have serious concerns about the existing cases against its citizens arrested under the state of emergency and the US officials would continue to engage with their Turkish counterparts to seek a satisfactory resolution. The move came on the evening of a four-day visit to the US by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during which he is set to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence at the White House, signaling a tentative improvement in the ongoing diplomatic rift between the two countries.
The visa row was sparked on October 8 when the US Embassy in Ankara announced the suspension of non-immigrant visa services to Turkish nationals, following the arrest of a local employee at the United States Consulate in Istanbul, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.