The High Commissioner at Constantinople (Bristol) to the Acting Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a Verbal Note forwarded by the United States High Commissioner, Constantinople, Turkey, to the Sublime Porte through the Swedish Legation in compliance with your cablegram No. 56 of 6 p.m. 17 February 1920.6


Mark L. Bristol

The Swedish Legation in Turkey to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Note Verbale

In accordance with instructions of the Government of the United States of America, the Royal Swedish Legation has the honor to inform the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the following:

The Government of the United States of America declares that its citizens may not be subjected to any tax whatever without the previous consent of that Government. It recognizes that an American citizen owning real estate within the Ottoman Empire should be bound to pay taxes levied on real estate under the same conditions as an Ottoman subject in all cases other than those where exemption is accorded to schools and to religious and charitable institutions. This holds true during the present armistice except that the United States Government does not authorize American citizens to submit to what is called “taxe de guerre”.

As to the temettu, the United States Government does not admit that it applies to citizens of the United States.

The same attitude is maintained in respect to the ilmihaber of the Hedjaz which has never been recognized by the United States Government.

The United States Government emphasizes particularly that it cannot recognize any method of taxation whereby the status of Americans may become in any way less favorable than that of other foreigners enjoying capitulatory rights in Turkey.

  1. Cablegram not printed.
  2. Translation supplied by editor.