Mr. Straus to Mr. Hay.

No. 11.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 6, of October 22, respecting the delays in granting teskeres and irades to foreigners who wish to travel to the interior of Asia Minor, I have the honor to report:

Pending the visit of the German Emperor all business with the Porte was at a standstill. He left on Saturday last, the 22d instant, and I took up the matter the following day and sent the attached note to Tahsin Bey, the first secretary of the Sultan. I received a verbal reply through our dragoman that His Majesty had decided, for the purpose of simplifying matters, to refer the entire subject of teskeres to the council of ministers, and that the persons referred to would receive their teskeres on Monday next, the 31st instant.

In the meantime I was informed by the British embassy that its custom has been to ask for teskeres, and if not granted within a day or two—and, as a rule, they are not granted—to let the persons go forward without them, and so advise the Porte and at the same time advise their British consular agents en route. The ambassador informed me he had made application for a teskere the same time we did for Miss Ida E. Hall, who wishes to accompany our American party, and up to this writing the teskere has not been obtained. I refer to this so that you may know these obstacles are not exceptional toward our citizens. The consul general informs me he has received information from the teskere bureau that all applications for teskeres are referred to the Palace, and that the Italian consul has recently met with the same disposition as to his requests.

The missionaries referred to have decided to leave for their destination without teskeres, as I am advised by the copy letter of October 25 from Rev. C. F. Gates; our cavass will put them on board. As a precautionary measure, I have sent a note to the minister for foreign affairs, of which a copy is attached, which gives the names of the persons referred to and their destination. This note follows my conference with the minister of foreign affairs, held yesterday, when I informed him the Americans had decided they would delay no longer. I shall also telegraph our consular agents at Samsoun and Trebizond to give every assistance, and in case of obstacles being interposed to advise the legation.

I am in hopes my action in this matter will bring about a solution by the council of ministers, so these petty annoyances under this head will be removed.

I trust the action I have taken will meet your approval.

I have, etc.,

Oscar S. Straus.
[Page 1098]
[Inclosure to No. 1 in No. 11.]
No. 9.]

His Excellency Tahsin Bey,
First Secretary of O. I. M. The Sultan.

Sir: Twenty-four days ago eight American-born citizens, returning from their vacation to their homes at Harpoot and Erzerum, have been delayed here all this time because their teskeres have been withheld.

I have come here to smooth the relations of our countries. These obstructions, which are contrary to our treaties, cause irritation in America, where these persons have many influential friends.

After sending the dragoman of this legation repeatedly to the Porte and the Palace, he is now informed that His Majesty further postponed this request. I have refrained from telegraphing to my Government to avoid raising a disagreeable issue, especially as the people in my country are very much excited on account of the denial of their rights in Turkey.

Unless these teskeres are issued to-day, it will become my duty to ask telegraphic instructions from my Government.

Your excellency will oblige me by bringing this to His Imperial Majesty’s attention at once, so that Mr. Garliulo can bring back the teskeres.

Receive, Excellency, etc., etc.,

Oscar S. Straus.
[Inclosure to No. 2 in No. 11.]

Dr. C. F. Gates to Mr. Straus.

Hon. O. S. Straus.

Dear Sir: I find our steamer leaves at 4 p.m. to morrow, the steamer Circassie of the Paquet Line. Will you kindly see that a cavass is on hand by 3 o’clock to see that we are put on board, and send necessary instructions to Samsoun.

May I also suggest that when we are fairly started you should inform the Porte to that effect and demand that instructions be sent all along our route that we be not molested.

Thanking you for all your kindness and regretting the trouble I have unwillingly caused you,

I remain, yours, truly,

C. F. Gates,
[Inclosure 3 in No. 11.]

Mr. Straus to Tewfik Pasha.

No. 5.]

His Excellency Tewfik Pasha,
Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Sir: Following my conference with your excellency yesterday, I beg to inform you that under the rights guaranteed by treaties the Americans, who have been delayed for more than three weeks waiting in vain for their teskeres to return to their homes and families at Erzerum and Harpoot, leave to-day for their destination. In the interest of good relations, your excellency is requested to send telegraphic instructions [Page 1099]to the authorities at Samsoun and Trebizond and all along the route to their destination to facilitate the journey of the persons named below.

I beg to advise your excellency in advance it will cause serious issue between our two Governments and that my Government will hold your Government to the fullest responsibility should any obstacles be placed in their way.

The names and destinations of the persons referred to are: Miss Laura Ellsworth, Miss Theresa Huntington, Mrs. Brown and her son Harold Brown, and Mrs. Barnum with her son, who go to Harpoot, accompanied by Mr. Gates and his family, who reside in Harpoot, and that the ladies, Miss Euth Bushnell, Miss Agnes Lord, and Mrs. Staple-ton go to Erzerum.

Hoping this will have your excellency’s prompt attention, receive, excellency, the assurance of my high consideration.

Oscar S. Straus.