Mr. Adee to Mr. Leishman.

No. 716.]

Sir: The Department has received your No. 902, of the 29th ultimo, concerning the case of Stelio E. Pappadimitriou, and requesting authority to instruct American consuls in Turkey not to recognize or protect, before first referring the matter to the legation, naturalized American citizens of Ottoman origin who hold passports which have not be viséed by Ottoman consular officers, or which do not show that the holders have reentered Turkey in a regular and proper manner.

While such a regulation would, as you suggest, render it more difficult than it now is for a person who has by fraud secured a passport through some confederate in this country to make use of it in Turkey, the Department is, nevertheless, unwilling to authorize a practice which would amount to a discrimination in the protection of American citizens in Turkey, and thus offend the spirit of sections 1999 and 2000 of the Revised Statutes of the United States. If the holder of a passport has obtained it honestly and has not forfeited his allegiance to the United States his right to recognition and protection as a citizen of the United States can not properly be made dependent upon his having complied with or evaded the Turkish port and frontier regulations; and it would not be safe to assume that the holder of a passport which contains no Turkish vise has returned to Turkey as a Turkish subject and is consequently not entitled to the protection of this Government. If the holder of a passport applies to a consular officer for protection the fact that his passport bears no Turkish visé may naturally arouse suspicion and the circumstances surrounding his entrance into Turkey and reside there should be carefully scrutinized; but the passport is prima facie proof of citizenship and right to protection and a consular officer must so accept it unless it is set aside by proof of fraud or deceit, and in case of doubt a consular officer should apply to your legation for instructions.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary.