The U.S. Embassy in Ankara said yesterday that visa appointments are only available from early 2019, due to an accumulation of applications following a diplomatic spat that prompted the two NATO allies to mutually suspend visa services. "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," the U.S. Embassy said in a tweet.
"#USVisa appointments are still limited, but we are prioritizing F, J, M, and petition-based work categories as well as applicants with medical and business travel," the embassy said in another tweet.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara first announced on Oct. 8 that it had suspended non-immigrant visa services at all diplomatic facilities in Turkey.
In response, the Turkish Embassy in Washington also suspended non-immigrant visa services in the U.S. citing security concerns.
The decision came after U.S. Consulate employee Metin Topuz was arrested after Turkish authorities charged him with links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind last year's defeated coup attempt in Turkey.
Topuz, a longstime U.S. Consulate employee working as a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officer at the Istanbul Bureau, was arrested after prosecutors discovered alleged close contact with dozens of former police chiefs and officers jailed for links to FETÖ.
Topuz has been linked to a number of FETÖ suspects, including police commissioners and former prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, a fugitive accused of attempting to overthrow the government through the use of force, according to a judicial source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
FETÖ is blamed for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 249 people across Turkey.
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