The Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the American Embassy in Turkey9


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs agrees to submit to the Mixed Commission to be established under the provisions of the letters exchanged with the American representative under date of February 17, 1927, together with the claims of Turkish nationals, the claims to be made by American citizens the American nationality of whom is not contested and who have suffered injury in Turkey.

The said Mixed Commission can with respect to these claims recommend to the two Governments an equitable solution, such as has been envisaged between the Embassy of the United States of America and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In using the term “non-contested American nationality” this Ministry intends to exclude from the categories of American claimants individuals who at the time of the injury for which they claim reparation were, according to Turkish law, Ottoman subjects.

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The Turkish Law of 7 Savval 1285 in fact says in its Article 5 (translation): “Individuals subjects of the Ottoman Empire who acquire a foreign nationality with authorization are considered foreigners and treated as such from the date of the changing of their nationality. But if one of these acquires a foreign nationality without being authorized to do so by the Imperial Government, his new nationality shall be considered as null and void and he, himself, recognized as in the past a subject of the Ottoman Empire, shall under all circumstances be subject to the same treatment as is applied to subjects of the Ottoman Empire. In all cases, the changing of nationality of a person of Ottoman nationality shall be conditioned upon the delivery of a document based upon an Imperial irade

Furthermore, the first article of the same law provides that (translation): “Persons born of parents or of a father having at the time Ottoman nationality are considered Ottoman subjects.”

Therefore, a foreign nationality acquired without observing the provisions of the above-mentioned Turkish law by individuals who by virtue of these same provisions were to be considered at the time of origin of the injury as Ottoman subjects cannot be invoked against Turkey.

Their claim cannot therefore be heard by the Mixed Commission as an American claim as provided in the above-mentioned letters.

  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Chargé in Turkey in his despatch No. 498, June 28, 1933; received July 12.