No. 655.

Mr. Bayard to Mr. Emmet .

No. 296.]

Sir: I herewith inclose a copy of a letter from the Hon. John V. L. Findlay, of the House of Representatives, from Maryland, of the 23d instant, and of my reply of the 29th, in-regard to the case of Mr. E. Chryssofondis, of Baltimore, who lately visited Turkey, his native country.

Your attention is particularly invited to the allegation quoted in my letter to Mr. Findlay, to the effect that the Turkish officer at Dardanelles [Page 850] had stated that his Govern ment had made a treaty with the other powers by which a Turk who returned to his former allegiance forfeited his citizenship elsewhere acquired, and became again a subject of Turkey. You will examine into the matter, call upon the consular agent at Dardanelles for a report, and make due communication thereof to the Department.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 296.]

Mr. Findlay to Mr. Bayard .

Dear Sir: The case of Elifthirios Chryssofondis, to which I called your attention orally yesterday, is in brief as follows:

Mr. Chryssofondis is of Greek parentage, but was born within the jurisdiction of Turkey. He was afterward naturalized in Greece and subsequently became an American citizen, of aU which facts I have the proper documentary testimony before me. The rest of his case is accurately enough stated in the inclosed slip, taken from his own accounts of himself and published in this morning’s issue of the Baltimore Sun. I make this slip a part of my statement.

Two questions arise on this statement:

What are Mr. Chryssofondis’s rights?
What steps are necessary for their enforcement?

And upon these points your opinion and action are respectfully solicited.

Very truly yours,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 296.]

turk or american.

[Reported for the Baltimore Sun.]

Representative John V. L. Findlay had an interview yesterday with Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State, at Washington, in regard to the action of the Turkish Government officials toward Mr. E. Chryssofondis, confectioner of Lexington street, Baltimore, whose rights as an American citizen were disregarded during a recent visit to Turkey, his native country.

Mr. Chryssofondis left Turkey when a boy and went to Greece, where he was naturalized. Afterward he came to Baltimore and became a citizen of the United States. On January 15, 1885, he left Baltimore for a visit to his native town of Renqui, about three hours’ ride from the Dardanelles. He arrived there March 1, and remained at home with his father and famUy forty-five days. On April 17, desiring to leave the Dardanelles by steamer for Smyrna and thence by Marseilles to Baltimore, he applied to the American consul for the necessary pass. The consul sent an interpreter to the Government office, but the officials returned a message that the man who wanted the pass must come for it himself. Mr. Chryssofondis went. He was asked where he was born, and replied in Turkey.

As soon as the officials heard that he was a native of Turkey they declined to give him a pass. He showed his United States naturalization papers, but they were tossed back to hint and he was told they were no good. Turkey, they said, had made a treaty in 1867 with all other nations by which a Turk who returned to Turkey after attaining citizenship elsewhere became again a subject of Turkey and forfeited his other citizenship. Mr. Chryssofondis returned to the consul, who cut matters short by sending him on hoard the steamer by his own boat the next day. He reached Baltimore May 24, 1886.

Mr. Chryssofondis says if he had not escaped he would have had to pay about $3 or $4 taxes for every year since he left Turkey in 1860. The question submitted to the Department of State was whether or not the Turkish Government had any control over Chryssofondis on his, return to his, native country after becoming naturalized in the United States, Mr. Chryssofnodis says, that unless his rights as an Americap citizen [Page 851] are established he will not be allowed to hold property or do business in Turkey, nor to leave if he went to visit his family. He could not inherit property from his father, nor could his father give him back property purchased with money sent home by him. He has no desire to return to Turkey to live, but wants his property rights protected.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 296.]

Mr. Bayard to Mr. Findlay .

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23d instant in regard to the case of Mr. E. Chryssofbndis, of Baltimore, and to say that there is no treaty of naturalization between the United States and Turkey. In default thereof, however, no case is known in which the latter Government has failed to recognize the effect of a valid naturalization of a Turk in the United States on the fact being proved. This Government makes no distinction in such a case between the treaty right of naturalized citizens of whatever origin and those of native citizens. (See section 2000, Revised Statutes of the United States.)

In the case of Mr. Chryssofondis there would seem to have been some confusion at Dardanelles as to the sufficiency of the evidence of his American citizenship, and no attempt seems to have been made by him or by the consular agent there, Mr. Frank Calvert, to set the matter right. Mr. Chryssofondis is stated to have presented to the local official a certificate of his naturalization of which the officer declined to take cognizance. The proper paper to present would have been a passport issued by this Department or by the United States legation at Constantinople; and this Government has no knowledge of the sufficiency of a United States passport, duly visaed by the Turkish authorities, being questioned in Turkey.

The Turkish regulation prescribes the evidence required of foreign travelers, namely, a passport, certified by the Turkish consul at the port of last departure and countersigned by the local authorities. Persons going to Turkey without the required documents cannot expect to escape inconvenience; but if they are disturbed, the establishment of their identity and status through the United States legation at Constantinople should not be difficult.

Mr. Chryssofondis seems to have made no attempt, through the consular agent or legation, to assert his right as an American citizen; but quitted the country voluntarily the next day, and, so far as can be seen, without the slightest effort on the part of the Turks to interfere with his personal liberty. On the facts presented in your letter and its accompanying printed statement, there would seem to be no just ground for complaint against the Government of Turkey. The most that can be said is that, in the personal conversation between Mr. Chryssofondis and the Turkish officers at Dardanelles the latter is alleged to have made the remarkable statement that “Turkey has made a treaty in 1867 with all other nations by which a Turk, who returned to Turkey after attaining citizenship elsewhere, became again a subject of Turkey and forfeited his other citizenship.” The Government of the United States is not a party to any such treaty as is here mentioned, and none such is known to exist between Turkey and any other powers. The officer would appear to have been misinformed, and the legation at Constantinople will be instructed to ask that he be correctly advised.

I have, &c.,