United States and Turkey Visa Showdown Ends Mutually
On Thursday, the U.S. Mission to Turkey announced that the United States and Turkey will mutually lift the visa restrictions put in place in October after a local embassy staff were arrested by Turkish officials. The arrests occurred because the Turkish government claimed the individuals were involved with the attempted coup of the Erdogan government.
The mutual agreement came after Turkey assured the U.S. government that no other members of their staff were under investigation, that no such employee would be detained or arrested for performing their official functions, and that if the Turkish government does plan on arresting staff employed by the U.S. mission, the U.S. will be notified beforehand.
The full statement is below:
Since October, the Government of Turkey has adhered to the high-level assurances it provided to the United States that there are no additional local employees of our Mission in Turkey under investigation, that local staff of our Embassy and consulates will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties – including communicating with Turkish officials also working in an official capacity – and that Turkish authorities will inform the U.S. government in advance if the Government of Turkey intends to detain or arrest any member of our local staff in the future.
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. We continue to have serious concerns about the existing allegations against arrested local employees of our Mission in Turkey. We are also concerned about 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.
This means you should be good to go ahead and travel to Turkey. Of course, the State Department does warn U.S. citizens traveling to the country based on threats to U.S. citizens from terror groups within the country. Those countries are completely unrelated to the visa showdown.