The Acting Secretary of State to Ambassador Leishman .

No. 93.]

Sir: In answer to your dispatch No. 80 of the 2d ultimo stating that the Porte prefers that petitions from naturalized American citizens of Turkish birth praying the Sultan to permit them to become American citizens and to release them from assessment for personal taxes in Turkey, be handed to the Turkish minister at Washington, I inclose herewith a copy of a circular to be sent by the department to persons requesting its good offices to obtain the Sultan’s permission for them to become American citizens and to release them from assessment for personal taxes in Turkey.

I am, etc.,

Robert Bacon.


Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, dated , in relation to the desire of to obtain release from assessment for personal taxes in Turkey.

In reply I have the honor to inform you that under the Turkish law of January 19, 1869, Ottoman subjects leaving Turkey subsequent to that time without the consent of the Sultan are regarded and treated by the Turkish Government as Ottoman subjects, even though they may have acquired a foreign allegiance. It will thus be seen that Turkey does not hold to the doctrine of [Page 1405] voluntary expatriation, and hence, having entered into no treaty of naturalization with the United States, does not recognize the citizenship in this country of former subjects who were naturalized after 1869 without the consent of the Sultan. That consent and release from personal taxation can be obtained by Mr. only by petition to His Majesty, through , the minister of Turkey to the United States, whose address is , this city. The petition, duly sworn to, should be mailed directly to the minister, and not through this department. It should set forth the facts of the case and the circumstances under which the petitioner left his native land, and should pray the Sultan to grant permission to him to become an American citizen and to release him from personal taxation.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

——— ———,
Assistant Secretary.