Mr. Terrell to Mr. Gresham.
Legation of the United States, September 17, 1894. (Received October 6, 1894.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the rules governing naturalized subjects of the leading European powers who have been natives of Turkey, after their return to the Ottoman Empire, are more frequently found in instructions to diplomats resident here than in statutory enactments.
I find no dispatch from any of my predecessors which gives those rules, and for your convenience in reference, if not for your information, I give them now.
Germany naturalizes and protects in third countries; but, in 1883, instructed its consuls not to extend protection to those who were natives of the Ottoman Empire when they return to Turkey.
Italy instructs her diplomatic agents not to afford protection to her naturalized subjects who were natives of Turkey. She conforms substantially to the German rule.
England, under an act of Parliament, writes on the face of every passport that protection will be afforded its bearer in all countries except the country of his origin, if he left it without the consent of its sovereign.
Russia, like England, never protects a returning native of the Ottoman Empire who left it without an Imperial iradè. This rule does not apply to the natives of that portion of Asia Minor bordering the Black Sea and extending to the interior; that she acquired in her last war; and, whether Turks or Amenians, those natives became Russiansby conquest and treaty, and are protected as native Russians when in a foreign land.
France never naturalizes a native of the Ottoman Empire born of Ottoman parents unless he produces an Imperial iradé or authorization, and will not protect him should he return to Turkey.
Austria does not naturalize a Turk who owns real estate in Turkey; she naturalizes others, and extends her protection in all countries except Turkey.[Page 764]
Belgium and Holland naturalize on the consent of the country, or sovereign of the country of origin.
I have not sought to ascertain the rule prevailing in the legations of Spain and Sweden, deeming it of small importance, but will do so if you desire.
It will thus be seen how little our doctrine of the right of voluntary expatriation is recognized by the rest of the civilized world in their dealing with Turkey.
In my last interview with the grand vizier he said, with earnestness, that Turkey would never consent that her subjects could change their nationality without the Sultan’s consent. He added: “If war is ever made on us for this we could not help it, and would defend as best we could.”
In view of the foregoing, I will be pardoned for submitting to your judgment the following, viz: “Whether our people are not prepared, by the influx from Europe of anarchy, socialism, poverty, crime, and dynamite, to approve a reactionary policy on the whole doctrine of voluntary expatriation.”
For about thirty years the questions of naturalization and of jurisdiction under article 4 of the treaty of 1830 have been subjects of contention. As often as there seemed to be the prospect of a new treaty, a change of administration, of a grand vizier, of a foreign minister of Turkey, or of a minister from the United States, compelled negotiations to begin de novo and no progress was made.
It is safe to assume that no new treaty can be made on either of the subjects of disagreement referred to which does not embrace both.
The anxiety at the Porte to have you adopt such a construction of article 4 of the treaty of 1830 as will conform to rule applied to subjects of European powers who are charged with crime, and will confer the jurisdiction on their own courts, will, when you can make some concessions, tend greatly to help forward a treaty of naturalization.
I have, etc.,