Officials meet to try to resolve visa row, sparked after arrest of local US Consulate employee over alleged terrorist ties.
A U.S. delegation on Wednesday met with Turkish officials in the capital Ankara in a bid to resolve a recent row in bilateral relations.
According to diplomatic sources, the Turkish group was led by Deputy Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ahmet Muhtar Gun, and the U.S. delegation was led by Jonathan Cohen, deputy assistant secretary of State.
The meeting between the two sides went "positively," according to the same diplomatic sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Speaking at the TRT World Forum in Istanbul, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin sounded a hopeful note, saying work to resolve the row "is moving towards a good point."
"Details will become clearer in the next few days. Of course the delegation here will return to Washington after hearing our views and convey them to their superiors. I believe that this issue will be resolved in short order," he said.
He added that there is "no reason" or "complication" making the row unresolvable.
The row was sparked on Oct. 8, when the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced the suspension of non-immigrant visa services for Turkish nationals, following the arrest of a local employee at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.
Metin Topuz, a long-standing consulate employee, was arrested last week over alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, the group behind last year’s defeated coup attempt in Turkey.
He has allegedly been linked to 121 FETO suspects, including police chiefs, over a prolonged period, a statement by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.