Mr. Emmet to Mr. Bayard.
Constantinople, July 21, 1885. (Received August 10.)
Sir: I have the honor to report that yesterday, being the day set apart by his excellency the minister of foreign affairs for receiving the heads of the various legations, I availed myself of the occasion to bring to bis notice the cases embraced in dispatches Nos, 293 and 296. This [Page 852] means I deemed much more expeditions than communication by writing. I beg to embody our interview, as follows:
His excellency states that the majority of cases where the naturalization of Turkish subjects is questioned are found to be people who have left the Empire to escape payment of debts, evade criminal process, or without obtaining leave of the Government, and by remaining absent for a length of time and returning under the protection of an American passport expect immunity from everything remaining of record against them. Furthermore, he says that the Ottoman Government can have but one standard for the consideration of the naturalization of persons formerly Ottoman subjects, and which is fully stated in the law promulgated January 19, 1869.
By examination of the Législation Ottomane, vol. 1, page 8, art. 5, I translate as follows:
Art. 5. The Ottoman subject who has acquired a foreign nationality with th authorization of the Imperial Government is considered and treated as a foreign subject. If, on the contrary, he has naturalized himself as a foreigner without the preliminary authorization of the Imperial Government, his naturalization will be considered as null and void, and he will continue to be considered and treated in all respects as an Ottoman subject. No Ottoman subject can in any case acquire foreign naturalization until after obtaining an act of authorization delivered by virtue of an Imperial iradé.
His excellency stated that but one thing remained to be done by those who have violated the above law, and that was to file a petition stating all the points of their several cases, and particularly a cause for changing their nationality, with the Turkish minister in America, who in turn will forward the same to the locality whence the petition originally came, and if found to have left a clean record after him, there will be no difficulty in obtaining the Imperial iradé, considered so indispensable in the above law.
Without this last precaution all naturalized Turks are debarred from inheriting from Ottoman subjects, notwithstanding that the property may have been acquired through the thrift and industry of the foreigner. And in case the latter purchases property he cannot bequeath the same to other than an Ottoman.
In reference to filing these petitions with the Turkish minister in America, I made particular inquiry whether it would not be preferable to have the same come through the channel of the State Department and this legation, to which his excellency replied that by the personal application to the minister he would be enabled to pronounce at once whether the applicant could obtain relief, and thereby save much time and labor.
I am, &c.,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.