Minister Leishman to the Secretary of State.
Pera, September 6, 1905.
(Mr. Leishman reports the arrest of a certain Vartanian, supposed to be an Armenian revolutionist, for the murder of a rich native Armenian of Constantinople, who claims to be an American citizen and bearer of a passport issued by the Department of State last spring. Permission to examine the man was refused to our consul, the Turkish police first denying that the murderer claimed to be an American citizen. Upon insistance by the legation the police authorities finally consented to allow the consul to examine the man, but when he arrived at the palace where the prisoner is detained he was again denied admittance. Under these circumstances Mr. Leishman felt compelled to file a protest with the Porte demanding Vartanian’s immediate surrender to the custody of the consulate. This protest has been ignored and the man has been condemned to death as a Turkish subject. Unless demand be insisted upon it is feared that it would be useless in the future for the legation to take any steps on behalf of naturalized American citizens of Ottoman origin, as the highhanded manner in which the Turkish Government has acted shows very clearly its determination to refuse to recognize our control over such citizens and possibly to contest Article IV of the treaty of 1830. The point-blank refusal to permit the consul to even see a man who claimed American nationality made it imperative to the legation to insist upon his immediate surrender, although in view of the doubtful character of the man and the heinous offense with which he is charged it was intended to avoid this step until the matter could be examined into and a full report could be made to the Department. Mr. Leishman felt compelled to include in his demands the surrender of Afarian referred to in his dispatch of August 28 as being detained by the Turks on suspicion of complicity in the palace plot. As nothing short of an ultimatum and possible resort to drastic measures will induce the Turkish Government to abandon the position it has taken, Mr. Leishman requests instructions from the Department.)