No. 1074.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Straus.

No. 88.]

Sir: Mr. Gillman, our consul at Jerusalem, in his No. 40, of February 10 ultimo, reports to the Department the harsh application in Palestine of the recently promulgated passport regulations of the Turkish Empire, and his representations to the governor that American citizens should, in comity, be granted some degree of exception from such requirements in view of the absence of any passport regulations in respect of Turkish subjects visiting the United States.

It appears that Mr. Gillman’s dispatch has been brought to your attention through the consulate-general at Constantinople.

I have caused to be sent to Mr. Gillman copy of Department’s instruction to you, No. 14, of May 10, 1887, on the general subject of the new passport regulations, and now transmit to you a copy of Mr. Gillman’s dispatch referred to, and the Department’s reply thereto, in order that you may be fully advised should Mr. Gillman, in pursuance of his instructions, bring any well-founded case of hardship or denial to your notice.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Page 1573]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 88.]

Mr. Gillman to Mr. Rives.

No. 40.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that the local authorities in Jerusalem and Palestine recently have begun to enforce the passport regulations with severity. All travelers, including Americans, are obliged to provide themselves with a tiskarah, or local passport; and those having passports from their Governments which have not the visa of a Turkish minister or consul are fined, as are those who are unprovided with passports.

This state of things has prevailed since October, 1886, in Syria (the consulate of Beirut); but in this consulate (including Palestine) we have had no trouble from this cause till since January, 1888.

My representations to the governor of Palestine only have resulted in his assurances of his inability to mitigate the evil complained of. On my assuring him that a Turk might travel from one end to the other of the United States without receiving hinderances, or being once asked to show a passport, he was greatly impressed, and suggested that proper representations be made by our legation at Constantinople, so that American travelers should be made an exception to the stringent rules now enforced, or, at least, such Americans as are provided with the passport of their Government.

To this end I have laid the matter before the consulate-general, requesting that it be brought before the legation at Constantinople.

I am, etc.,

Henry Gillman.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 88.]

Mr. Rives to Mr. Gillman.

No. 23.]

Sir: I have received your dispatch No. 40 of the 10th ultimo, touching the severity of the Turkish passport regulations as recently enforced within your jurisdiction, and reporting your suggestions to the governor of Palestine as to making American citizens an exception to the rule on the ground of reciprocity, no passport regulations being enforced in the United States in respect of Turkish subjects coming to or sojourning in this country.

Your reference of the matter to the legation at Constantinople through the consul-general is approved.

The question of the Turkish passport regulations had previously been considered by this Department, and I transmit for your information copy of an instruction sent to Minister Straus on the 14th of May, 1887 (No. 14), which covers most of the subject of your complaint.

The regulations, while not in themselves objectionable in principle, may be enforced in particular cases to work hardship, especially if recourse to the local consular representatives for protection and for proof of American citizenship should be denied, owing to the failure of any citizen to provide himself with the prescribed “teskereh.” Should the issuance of such a document be refused on due application, supported by proper proof, you will report the case to the legation through the consulate-general, accompanied by the papers necessary to an understanding of the case, beside reporting it in the usual manner to this Department.

I am, etc.,

G. L. Rives,
Assistant Secretary.