United States announced on Thursday that it would again start full issuance of Visas in Turkey that was halted in early October. Turkey made similar announcement few hours later that they would restart issuing Visas for US citizens.
The spat started when Turkey arrested US Embassy employee and when US refused to hand over person that the current Turkish government considers a “terrorist”.
Here’s the announcement from the US Embassy in Ankara:
— US Embassy Turkey (@USEmbassyTurkey) December 28, 2017
Here’s an excerpt from the Washington Post (access the piece here):
Against the deteriorating relationship, the row over the visas took on political overtones even as the State Department said it was purely about the safety of its employees.
It was precipitated by the detention of a Turkish employee, the second one detained this year, and suggestions that others might be in the crosshairs. An embassy statement said it needed to “reassess” Turkey’s commitment to protecting its employees.
U.S. officials feared that the post-coup crackdown meant their Turkish employees could be jailed for innocuous actions such as calling the police to check on visa applicants.
Both sides, the official said, committed to informing the other of any intention to detain consular employees.
“I think both the U.S. and [Turkey] recognized that the status quo was not sustainable,” the official said.
This kind of Visa retaliation between two close NATO “allies” is unheard of. Glad that the Turkish and American governments were able to work it out (barely – there seems to be already disagreement about what was agreed) so that it wouldn’t affect travelers from both countries.
I am sure that this Visa issue must have affected Turkish Airlines traffic from the United States, although most of it must be connecting one.