File No. 763.72/11662

The Chargé in Greece ( Chabot) to the Secretary of State


576. Following interview with British Minister: British Admiral arranged cruiser to arrive Athens with Giraud, French (chargé d’affaires?) and Carabiber, confidential agent and [Page 342] delegate of Rahmi, of Smyrna, who presented to British Minister letter from Rahmi in which he stated certainty of possibilities to overthrow present Turkish Government, providing he received favorable terms from the Entente. Rahmi returned to Smyrna from Constantinople October 4. While in Constantinople he made every arrangement to overthrow present Government at meeting of Chamber to take place October 10. Talaat is ready to efface himself. Rahmi requested the following terms with an immediate reply from the British, French and American Governments:

Constantinople to remain the capital of Turkey. The Straits to be under Turkish control with the right to fortify them, but with complete freedom of passage to ships of all nations;
Completely free governments for Syria, Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Armenia but with the retention of nominal Turkish sovereignty;
No concession of any kind to Bulgaria, but retention of 1914 frontiers;
Entente to substitute their guarantee for that of Germany for all paper money in circulation and grant credit for further issuance, of course in exchange for some financial control and other economical advantages;
Entente to promise an immediate military and naval power if it should be necessary to [eject] Germany from Constantinople;
The question of the Khalifate not to be raised, thus leaving it in the state that it was in before the war;
Entente to show clearly that no other Turkish statesman could get such good terms.

The British Minister replied in personal conversation in regard to: (1) That the Entente would be sure to object; Carabiber replied that if the Straits, however, were not fortified attacks would be possible—by Greece, for instance—and on the other hand Turkey would be completely under control of the Entente anyhow. (2) That there would be possible objections to any sovereignty of Turkey. In reply Carabiber explained that this sovereignty could be in any form whatsoever, as it was only to avoid any appearances of having sold his country.

Carabiber in personal conversation explained further in regard to: (4) The Turkish debt to Germany to be settled in the general peace after the war and Entente is asked to guarantee paper money inasmuch as the Turkish people would be ruined if it lost its value—there is a great quantity in circulation. It is understood by him that there is a British surcharge on the paper money in circulation [Page 343] in territory occupied by British forces, and he merely asks the same guarantee for the entire nation. It is also necessary that the new Government to be formed, have money. (5) Guarantee by Turkey to [eject] Germany not sure. British Minister thereto added that Entente would undoubtedly send troops and ships to the Straits.

Time is most valuable as decision and action must take place before the German troops can get back from Caucasus. Cruiser remaining in nearby waters with delegate who awaits three Governments’ replies. Not in touch with shore, however, and closely guarded. Please instruct as soon as possible.