USA missions in Turkey to resume full visa services after row

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he speaks during a media conference at the Presidential Palace in Carthage outside Tunis Tunisia Wednesday Dec. 27 2017. Syria's peace efforts cannot include President Bashar Assad Turkey's leader

But Turkey swiftly denied having granted such assurances in the affair that has tested relations since two local employees of the USA consulate in Istanbul were held on suspicion of ties to last year's failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the detention of Topuz, the U.S. chose to suspend the issuance of visas to Turkish citizens and in retaliation, Ankara adopted a similar decision with regard to American citizens.

The U.S. State Department announced Thursday the full resumption of visa services with Turkey, after a suspension that lasted for almost two months.

Turkish stocks and country-specific ETF strengthened Thursday after the US and Turkey lifted all visa restrictions, ending months-long dispute over diplomatic duties.

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They were restored after Turkey assured US authorities that no other local employees were under investigation and that local staffers wouldn't be detained for doing their jobs, the embassy said in a statement Thursday.

Turkey faults the USA for refusing to hand over Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania resident who Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for a July 2016 coup attempt.

Non-immigrant visas include student, tourist, media and work visas.

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A statement released today from the U.S. Embassy in Turkey announced the return to regular operations.

"We do not find it right for the United States to claim it had received assurances from Turkey and misinform the USA and Turkish publics", the embassy said, according to a BBC translation. "Ankara has assured the United States at the highest level about the cessation of arrests or any further investigation of any embassy staff of USA consulate general - the representatives of the U.S. embassy said".

Turkish authorities will also inform the United States "in advance" if they intend to arrest any local staff member in the future.

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But a statement issued by Turkey denies giving the USA any such assurances.

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