Mr. Gresham to Mr. Terrell.
Department of State, August 30, 1894.
Sir: Your No. 283 of the 9th instant, in regard to the case of Socrates Seferiades, has been received. You report that Seferiades has settled his difficulties with the kindred of the boy who was killed, and you inclose a memorandum of an interview which you had, on August 7, with the grand vizier and minister for foreign affairs on the general subject of expatriation of Turkish subjects, from which it appears that [Page 739]Turkey claims the right to punish, by expulsion or exclusion from the Ottoman Empire, any of its natives who were naturalized by another Government without the Sultan’s consent, and that the naturalization of an Ottoman subject, no matter of what race, is regarded as an offense in itself for which the Porte claims the right to punish him.
This Government, while abundantly showing its disposition to respect the sovereign rights of Turkey in regard to the exclusion or expulsion of objectionable aliens, as aliens, has repeatedly made its position known touching any possible claim of Turkey to punish its former subjects on the ground of their having embraced American citizenship under the due operation of our laws. Such a pretension will not be acquiesced in, and you will earnestly contest it should it be seriously put forward.
I am, etc.,