New statements have been made by the embassies of Turkey and the United States (US) regarding the visa crisis, that had started with the US suspending visa applications from Turkey on October 8, 2017 and Turkey responding by suspending visa applications from the US as well.
US Mission to Turkey has announced that they have received assurances from Turkey that there are "no additional local employees" of Mission in Turkey under investigation, their local staff would "not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties" and that Turkish authorities would "inform the US government in advance of any intentions to detain or arrest a member of their local staff in the future".
The mission stated that due to the recent progress the mission would allow the resumption of limited visa services in Turkey.
Upon the US's statement, Turkey has also announced that it would resume processing visa applications of US citizens at its diplomatic and consular missions in the US on a "limited basis" but denied US' claims regarding any assurance that staff will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties.
US: Received assurances allowing resumption of limited visa services
"We have received initial high-level assurances from the Government of Turkey that there are no additional local employees of our Mission in Turkey under investigation.
"We have also received initial assurances from the Government of Turkey that our local staff will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties and that Turkish authorities will inform the U.S. government in advance if the Government of Turkey intends to detain or arrest a member of our local staff in the future.
"Based on these preliminary assurances, we believe the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the resumption of limited visa services in Turkey.
"We continue to have serious concerns about the existing cases against arrested local employees of our Mission in Turkey.
"We are also concerned about the cases against U.S. citizens who have been arrested under the state of emergency. U.S. officials will continue to engage with their Turkish counterparts to seek a satisfactory resolution of these cases".
Turkey: "Judiciary is independent, we gave no assurance"
Noting that the mutual resumption of limited visa services by Turkey and US was a positive development, the Embassy of Turkey in Washington, DC stated:
"Turkey is a state of law and our government cannot provide any assurances regarding files that are subject of ongoing legal processes.
"No foreign mission personnel has been subjected to legal investigation for performing their official duties in Turkey. The personnel in question employed in the U.S. has been the subject of a judicial process not because of his official duties but due to very serious charges against him.
"In the period ahead, it is the duty of the independent judiciary to initiate legal proceedings against those who overstep their consular duties and commit crimes in Turkey.
"On the other hand, at the meeting held in Ankara on the 18th of October 2017, with the participation of Turkish and US officials, the two sides agreed on enhancing information sharing on a mutual basis concerning judicial matters and consular cooperation.
"The reference to the security situation in the Embassy's statement does not reflect the truth, and is considered add since Turkey has taken all the necessary measures for the security of all diplomatic and consular missions in Turkey, including those of the US and as the US side stated at every occasion that there is no need for additional measures.
"Turkey has also very serious concerns about the ongoing cases against the Turkish citizens in the US.
"Turkish officials will continue to engage with their American counterparts to seek a satisfactory resolution of these cases". (EKN/DG)
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