No. 680.

Tevfik Pasha to Mr. Davis .


The Sublime Porte, in the exercise of its incontestable and uncontested right, gave notice, at the prescribed time and in due form, of its desire for the cessation of the effects of the treaty concluded between the Imperial Ottoman Government and the United States in 1862. As [Page 896] a consequence, the treaty in question has ceased to exist as far as the Sublime Porte is concerned.

It is true that the Washington Cabinet, endeavoring to base its action upon certain matters of form, has sought to maintain that this notice was null and void. The Sublime Porte, however, strong in the justice of its cause, has energetically and unceasingly opposed this view, and has always insisted that the treaty was definitively abrogated.

The Department of State, after many negotiations, finally consented to acknowledge the validity of the notice, on condition that the Ottoman Government would agree to grant to American citizens trading in Turkey the same privileges and immunities that are granted to the subjects or citizens of nations whose treaties of commerce with the Ottoman Empire have not yet expired, and provided that the said American citizens might enjoy the same until the expiration of the treaty of commerce that had the longest time to run.

The Sublime Porte, while recognizing the spirit of conciliation shown by the Washington Cabinet in this matter, has found it impossible to accept this proposition. To do so would have been to admit that the notice given by it was an empty formality, since, according to the new convention proposed by the United States, the consequences of the said notice were to be null and void, and American citizens trading in Turkey were, in a word, to be placed in the same position in which they were before the notice was given.

The Sublime Porte has therefore been compelled to declare to the chargé d’affaires of the United States at Constantinople that, considering the treaty as no longer having any legal force, it will levy an ad valorem duty upon American goods introduced into Turkey. Still, out of regard for the United States, with which it so much desires to maintain friendly relations, and with a view to avoiding even the shadow of a complication, it has repeatedly solicited the American legation at Constantinople to be pleased to appoint delegates for the purpose of negotiating a new treaty and a new tariff. Mr. Heap, however, has as yet taken no such step. He has confined himself to informing the Imperial Government that he has referred the matter to his Government.

The Sublime Porte trusts that the honorable Secretary of State, being convinced that it is in the right, will be pleased to instruct the representative of the United States at Constantinople to negotiate a new treaty and a new tariff with the Ottoman delegates; for, once more, it is impossible for the Imperial Government to recede from the position which it has taken in relation to this question.