No. 526.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 160.]

Sir: I take the liberty of sending you a copy of a note forwarded today to his excellency the minister of foreign affairs. You will remember the case of Mr. Sidi, of Smyrna, presented in my dispatch No. 126. It [Page 822]now appears there is another American citizen, formerly a Turkish subject, who has large real property, liable, in the event of his death, to forfeiture under the Turkish law. The person referred to is Mr. Joseph Azarian, resident in this city, who is naturally much concerned about the matter.

The evident good policy of settling the question, if possible, before a death occurs to precipitate it in an aggravated form, is the motive of the present communication. The minister’s answer will be promptly forwarded.

Very respectfully, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 160.]

Mr. Wallace to Aarifi Pasha.

No. 140.]

Highness: Under date of September 25 last, in a dispatch No. 127, I had the honor to call the attention of your predecessor, his excellency Said Pasha, to the case of Mr. Alexander Sidi, a citizen of the United States, now and for many years a resident of Smyrna.

Mr. Sidi had made application through the American consul at that city for permission to have the title to a house passed to him. Presumably this right was secured under the protocol of 1874, giving foreigners the privilege of acquiring real property. His application was denied by the authorities, for the reason that he had been an Ottoman subject before changing his nationality. Mr. Sidi then applied to have the house passed to his sons, Abraham and Joseph, both of whom are United States citizens by birth. This was also denied him. The authorities, going a step further, informed him that upon his death his real property would become vacant.

In the note referred to, as in duty bound, I contest the action in both the cases, and give my reasons at length. My demand was that the authorities be instructed to permit the title to pass to the sons as of legal right. As to Mr. Sidi the elder, I insisted that, admitting him to be in the category of former Turkish subjects who had changed their nationality, he was yet entitled to acquire real property, because the Turkish Government, in regulating rights under the protocol, had obliged itself to make a special law for the benefit of persons in the category described. The failure to do so could not be justly urged to sustain the denial of his first application, much less could it be asserted to work a forfeiture against him.

This, it is submitted, is a matter of supreme importance as concerns individuals, and of such gravity relatively to our respective Governments that I presume to ask your highness’s immediate attention to my note.

I avail, &c.,