U.S. to resume visas in Turkey after 2-month suspension
The United States suspended visa activity in October after the arrest of Metin Topuz, a longtime consulate employee who was arrested for alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization - the group behind last year's failed coup attempt in Turkey.
Thursday, the State Department said Turkey adhered to "high-level assurances" that there are no local employees under investigation, and that embassy consultants would not be arrested or detained.
"Based on adherence to these assurances, the Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the full resumption of visa services in Turkey," the department said.
In suspending visas, U.S. officials cited "recent events" that "forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey."
U.S. officials said Thursday "serious concerns" remain about existing allegations against employees that were previously in Turkey. ■