United States resumed issuing visas in Turkey in first step to ease crisis

General view of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
Vastavam web: The United States has partially resumed issuing visas in Turkey after getting assurances about the safety of staff at its missions there, the U.S. embassy said on Monday, in the first step to ease a diplomatic crisis between the two allies.The Turkish embassy in Washington said almost immediately it would match the move, announced on the eve of a visit to the United States by Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
The arrest of a veteran employee at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul a month ago led the United States to suspend all non-immigrant visa services while it assessed the security of its staff in Turkey.Within hours of the U.S. announcement on Oct. 8, Turkey said it was implementing reciprocal measures and President Tayyip Erdogan later angrily accused Washington of sacrificing a longstanding alliance with Ankara.“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.”
Based on those assurances, the embassy said it judged that the security situation had “improved sufficiently to allow for the resumption of limited visa services in Turkey”.“The decision came right before PM Yildirim’s visit to the U.S., showing that Turkey-U.S. agreed on a mutual solution regarding the visa service crisis,” Ozgur Altug, chief economist at brokerage BGC Partners, said in a note.
The gains in the lira, which was also boosted by central bank measures on dollar liquidity earlier on Monday, helped push Istanbul’s main BIST stock index up 2.58 percent on Monday to close at a record high of 114.165,67 points.