Turkey-US had productive visa talks, US State Department says


Earlier this month Washington suspended visa services after Turkey detained two Turkish nationals employed as USA consular staff.

Strained ties between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies deepened last week after Turkish authorities detained a Turkish employee of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. The dispute hit the Turkish lira and stocks and unnerved investors.

Speaking at a news conference with his Portuguese counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu decried what he described as Washington's "immature diplomatic approach" and criticized the effect of the "needless crisis" on Turkish citizens. The immediate trigger was the arrest of a consulate employee in Istanbul over his alleged links to Fethullah Gülen.

"I believe this crisis will be resolved soon", he told state-owned TRT Haber.

The PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and US - has killed more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians since July 2015.

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However, a Turkish official said the talks were proceeding in a "positive" manner and that representatives for both sides agreed to keep talking.

Relations between Turkey and its Western allies have soured significantly since the July 2016 coup and the large-scale purges of the Turkish armed forces, state institutions, media and academia that followed.

He is accused of "attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and Turkey's government", and "spying", a judicial source said. Gulen, who has lived in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied the charges and condemned the coup.

Ankara has established the Maarif Foundation to take control of schools outside Turkey linked to FETO movement.