The Counselor of Embassy in Turkey (Shaw) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

Dear Wallace: I duly received your letter of March 2050 concerning the possibility of concluding an extradition treaty with Turkey. Yesterday, I had a talk with Numan Bey upon this subject, with the following results:

Since the conversation with Mr. Grew some two and a half years ago the Turks have concluded an extradition treaty with Switzerland and in this treaty there is an article enumerating in detail the crimes for which extradition may be requested and containing at the end a blanket provision for the extradition of all persons convicted of a crime involving an imprisonment of one year or more. Numan Bey said that they would be quite willing to conclude a treaty with us containing a similar article. When I inquired whether it would be possible to enumerate the crimes and stop there without adding the blanket provision, he said that that might be difficult under their laws but that the possibility was not altogether excluded.
Regarding the matter of whether the demanding or the surrendering Government shall pay the costs of the extradition proceedings he said he was quite willing to study our thesis on this point and that personally he was rather inclined to think it might be accepted.
He defines a crime against the press laws as any crime punishable exclusively under a law on the press. If a journalist, for instance, writes an article so subversive of the Government’s authority that he is imprisoned for two years under the existing press law that would be an example of what the Turkish Government understands by “crimes against the press laws”. As examples of crimes against the fiscal laws, he cited evasions of taxation and smuggling.

From the foregoing, you will see that the possibility of concluding a mutually satisfactory extradition treaty is quite the reverse of excluded. At the conclusion of our interview, I was sorely tempted to put forward the Department’s proposals of two and a half years ago in favor of the extradition treaty signed at Lausanne. I did not do so, however, as I was not sure that the Lausanne extradition treaty is as acceptable to the Department today as it was in 1930. I had particularly in mind the rather more elaborate crimes enumeration article of our recent extradition treaty with Greece51 and particularly item 26 of that article, which provides for the extradition of persons who commit crimes or offenses against the laws for the suppression of traffic in narcotics.

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It seems to me that after you have consulted with the Office of the Legal Adviser, there are two things that can be done: either we can put forward again the Lausanne extradition treaty or you can send me a new text, to be presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their study and consideration. Whatever is decided in this matter, I hope that I shall be informed as soon as possible. The “dead” season at Ankara will begin about the middle of June, and I should like to allow ample time to present the matter to the Foreign Office as effectively as possible.

Yours sincerely,

G. Howland Shaw
  1. Not printed.
  2. Treaty of May 6, 1931, Foreign Relations, 1931, vol. ii, p. 378.