Mr. Terrell to Mr. Olney.

No. 952.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that on the 15th instant I despaired of obtaining from the Porte the release of the naturalized American citizens now in prison at Aleppo, or of procuring permission for the wives of more than forty American citizens to rejoin their husbands in America. The difficulty was at the palace.

Thereupon the original of the inclosed note was sent to Tahsin Bey, the chief secretary of the Sultan, demanding an audience. No answer was returned by the secretary, but on the same day the inclosed note was received from Izzet Bey, a subordinate functionary at the palace, who for himself informed me that His Majesty was too busy to receive me before Friday next (seven days).

On Monday, August 17, I sent by my dragoman the inclosed note to Tahsin Bey, inquiring whether the Sultan authorized the note signed by Izzet, and requesting a written answer. My dragoman was informed by both Izzet and Tahsin that my last note had been communicated to the Sultan and that he authorized the note sent by Izzet; but no written answer was sent to me.

I inclose the note from my dragoman, Mr. Gargiulo, regarding that interview.

Thus deprived of access to the Sultan, who naturally desired to avoid being charged with violating the modus vivendi agreed on between us two years ago (and which prohibited his imprisonment of naturalized American citizens), it seemed my plain duty to telegraph you regarding the situation. A copy of my telegram is inclosed.

The Sultan and Porte, under three successive administrations, have recognized our modus vivendi, on making which the Sultan grasped my hand over two years ago. Under it, Mooradian, Krikor Arakelian, and Melcoun Guedjian (besides others) were surrendered to me.

Efforts for relief at the Porte have been persistent.

I have, etc.,

A. W. Terrell.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 952.]

Mr. Terrell to Tahsin Bey.

Sir: I request that you present my compliments to His Imperial Majesty and inform him that I demand a personal audience with him under instructions from my Government.

Receive, excellency, etc.

A. W. Terrell.
[Page 919]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 952.]

Izzet Bey to Mr. Terrell.

Mr. Minister: His Imperial Majesty, my august master, being occupied up to Friday and not being able to grant you an audience in the course of the week, I keep myself at the disposal of your excellency for any communication you may please to make to me.

I avail myself, etc.,

A. Izzet.
[Inclosure 3 in No. 952.]

Mr. Terrell to Tahsin Bey.

Sir: On the 15th instant I addressed you a note requesting you to inform His Imperial Majesty the Sultan that, under instructions from my Government, I applied for a personal audience with His Imperial Majesty the Sultan.

On the night of the 15th instant I received the inclosed (copy) note from His Excellency Izzet Bey, which informs me that as His Imperial Majesty the Sultan would be busy until Friday next His Excellency Izzet Bey would hold himself ready to receive any communication I might desire to make him (Izzet Bey).

Will your excellency be pleased to inform me whether the note from His Excellency Izzet Bey was written under instructions from your august master, and answer in writing.

Receive, excellency, etc.,

A. W. Terrell.
[Inclosure 4 in No. 952.]

Mr. Gargiulo to Mr. Terrell.

Sir: I have the honor to report that I have delivered to-day your letter to Tahsin Bey, the first secretary of the Sultan, with regard to the communication made to you by Izzet Bey, to know if the latter acted under instructions from the Sultan.

Tahsin Bey submitted it to the Sultan, and about half an hour later Izzet Bey came to the office of Tahsin Bey, bringing the reply of the Sultan, as follows:

The letter was written in consequence of a special iradé given to Izzet Bey for that purpose. The reason Izzet Bey was placed at your disposal was because the Sultan, who could not grant you an audience in the course of a week, did not wish, if you had any pressing matters to submit to him, to let them suffer by delay.

When I requested Tahsin Bey to reply in writing to your letter, he said: “You are the official interpreter of the United States legation. I give you the answer of His Majesty officially and in the presence of Izzet Bey. I do not believe that a written answer can have more weight.”

[Page 920]

In reply, I told him that your letter required a written answer, and that I could not look upon the verbal answer as being satisfactory; but, anyhow, I would communicate it to you.

I am, sir, etc.,

A. A. Gargiulo.