U.S. Embassy in Turkey: No visa appointments until 2019

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The U.S. Embassy in Turkey announced, on Tuesday, that visa appointments would only become available beginning in January 2019. The delay comes as the result of an accumulation of applications which are waylaid after a diplomatic spat prompted the two NATO allies to mutually suspend granting visas.

“In spite of long wait times, the U.S. Mission to Turkey continues to process non-immigrant visas. Appointments are available for January 2019, and applicants can as always choose to apply outside of Turkey,” said the U.S. Embassy in a tweet.

After two local employees were detained at its mission in Turkey, Washington halted issuing visas in October. In November, the United States resumed “limited visa services” in Turkey after getting what it said were assurances about the safety of its local staff.

Two U.S. citizens, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official and a translator, were arrested this year on suspicion of aiding a coup aimed at taking out Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish government has accused a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, of orchestrating the failed coup attempt, according to a report in The Hill.

In November, Trump and Erdogan spoke on the phone. At the time, Trump promised that the United States would cease arming Syrian Kurdish fighters in the neighboring country’s civil war.

“Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East,” Trump tweeted in November. “I will get it all done, but what a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!”

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