Mr. Riddle to Mr. Gresham.

No. 241.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction No. 171, of April 14, inclosing a letter from Mr. K. K. Samuelian. The precise form of the “persecution of returned Armenians by the Turkish Government, not those alone from this country (America), but also those returning from any part of Europe,” referred to by Mr. Samuelian, is not made clear by him. In the case of those Armenians who have returned to Turkey after obtaining naturalization in Great Britain, the persecution does not take the form of exclusion or expulsion. This legation knows of no case of the expulsion from Turkey of former Turkish subjects who have obtained naturalization in England, and the members of the British embassy here report that they have never heard of such cases.

In fact, from the Turkish point of view, the necessity would not arise for the adoption of such measures against Turks naturalized in England, who, if they return to Turkey at all, return as Turkish subjects, being no longer claimed by Great Britain; and persons who maybe controlled, taxed, and imprisoned without interference from a foreign power the Ottoman Government has no desire to expel. It is only those former Turkish subjects naturalized in the United States (who have been in the habit of returning to Asia Minor and reestablishing themselves in their native district as privileged foreigners) whose presence is objectionable to the Ottoman Government.

Thus, although there is a difference in the treatment of returning Turks who have been naturalized in the United States and those naturalized in Great Britain and other European countries, the Ottoman Government disclaims any unfriendly discrimination against this country, assigning as a reason for the difference in treatment the fact that Turks returning from the United States, are claimed by the United States Government as Americans exempt from Turkish jurisdiction, while Turks naturalized in any other country, on coming back to the Ottoman Empire, return at once to their former state of subjection to Ottoman rule, it being understood that the naturalization referred to throughout this dispatch is that which has been acquired without the imperial sanction.

I have, etc.,

J. W. Riddle,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.