U.S. announces return to full visa services after Turkish assurances

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara has announced that it will return to providing full visa services in Turkey following assurances from the Turkish government that it would not arrest consular staff members for performing their official duties, they said in a Twitter statement on Thursday.

Turkish authorities had also agreed to inform the United States in advance of any arrest of a local member of staff, the statement said, a provision that the Turkish government had previously deemed to be a violation of its sovereignty.

However, the statement did not mark the release of the two local U.S. consulate staff members currently in Turkish custody.

“We continue to have serious concerns about the existing allegations against arrested local employees of our mission in Turkey,” the statement said.

“We are also concerned about cases of U.S. citizens who have been arrested under state of emergency.”

The Turkish Embassy in Washington later issued a statement denying that any special assurances had been made to the United States.