Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ Ottoman subjects who have been naturalized since 1869, without the Imperial sanction, are, notwithstanding, regarded by Turkish law as subjects, and such persons are unable to accomplish any act affecting their real property before a Turkish court or bureau unless they accept the designation of Ottoman subject.'

“There is a provision of law by which this latter class may have pronounced against them a judgment involving the loss of Ottoman citizenship and entailing the forfeiture of their real property, but it is stated that this provision has never been put into practice by the Ottoman Government. In

any event it will be necessary for you to establish your title to the property in the courts of Turkey, and this Government could only intervene in case of a denial of justice or of treaty rights.”

Mr. Adee, Act. Sec. of State, to Messrs. Seropian Brothers, August 6, 1897,

220 MS. Dom. Let. 125. See, also, Mr. Adee, Second Assist. Sec. of State, to Mr. Zabriskie, Sept.

22, 1900, 248 MS. Dom. Let. 102.

[ocr errors]

"By the law annexed to the real estate protocol of August 11, 1874, between the United States and the Ottoman Porte, .. the right of subjects of Ottoman birth who have changed their nationality to hold and presumably to inherit real estate, is to be governed by a special law. The Turkish Government holds that the law of nationality, which refuses recognition of the acquisition of a foreign nationality by a Turk who has become naturalized abroad without Imperial consent, operates as a special law to deprive an Ottoman subject, so naturalized since 1869, of the right to hold real estate as an alien.”

Mr. Moore, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Pashayan, Sept. 9, 1898, 231 MS.

Dom. Let. 292.

(e) EXPULSION CASES.

$ 463.

“I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 188 of the 21st ultimo in regard to the attempted expulsion of Dr. Abkarian, a naturalized citizen of the United States, from Turkey. You state that on the evening of the 20th of November you were called upon at your residence by Naoum Effendi, who is in charge of the foreign correspondence at the ministry of foreign affairs and were informed by him that an order had been received from His Highness the Grand Vizier, based upon information from the minister of police, for the expulsion of Dr. Abkarian, who is of Armenian parentage, and who arrived in Turkey from the United States over two months ago, on the ground that he is a man dangerous to the public peace. You state that no evidence that he is such a man has been offered to you,

and you are at present unable to state what the charges against him may be, but that you are promised such information as the foreign office may be able to obtain from the minister of police.

“ It seems that Dr. Abkarian has left Constantinople, perhaps for Sivas, and that from the steamer in which he took passage he wrote a letter, the purport of which is not altogether clear. He says it was impossible for him to remain in Constantinople longer than a week or more with justice to himself and to the ' cause' for which he had commenced ’his travelling.'

"In view of the questions raised in this case, the Department would find it difficult to instruct you by telegraph, as requested. You advert to the fact that the power to expel foreigners is one incident to sovereignty, but at the same time suggest a doubt whether it may be exercised arbitrarily, even in a country where there are political disturbances, such as at present exist in Turkey, and especially where, owing to the capitulations, extraterritoriality is enjoyed by foreigners. This question, as you observe, is one of great importance to all naturalized Americans in Turkey.

“ It can not be maintained that in respect to foreigners within her territory.Turkey exercises the rights ordinarily inherent in territorial sovereignty. Her control over her foreign population is limited, both by the capitulations and by treaties. Next to the right to try foreigners for offenses, the most important power that a government can exercise in regard to them is that of expulsion. In the full exercise of this power it would be possible virtually to avoid the results of the concession of extraterritorial privileges. This fact appears to be conceded by the Porte in its appeal to you in the present

case.

" Putting aside the question of jurisdiction as to the punishment of offenses, which has been amply discussed in the pending case of Serope Gurdjian, there are stipulations in the treaty between the United States and Turkey which would seem to be inconsistent with the free and independent exercise by the Porte of the power of expulsion. • Citizens of the United States,' says article 4 of the treaty of 1830, ' quietly pursuing their commerce and not being charged or convicted of any crime or offense, shall not be molested; even when they may have committed some offense, they shall not be arrested and put in prison by the local authorities.' Such is the language of the article as officially published by the United States. According to the French translation of the original Turkish as furnished by the Turkish Government, the stipulation may be expressed as follows: ‘American citizens peaceably attending to matters of commerce shall not be molested without cause, so long as they shall not have com · mitted any offense or fault, and even in case of culpability they shall not be imprisoned by the judges and police agents.' In the case of Gurdjian it was expressly admitted by the Turkish Government that its police agents had no authority to arrest citizens of the United States, and accordingly regret was expressed for the arrest in that case, and a promise made that the offending officials would be punished. Without the power to arrest the power to execute the decree of expulsion is absent, and in the end the appeal must be made to the minister of the United States, as has been done in the present case.

“ While you are not informed of the specific grounds of complaint against Dr. Abkarian, you conjecture that, whether well founded or not, they may have some connection with the present Armenian agitation. In this relation it is proper to observe that it is a well-settled principle of international law that foreigners are not justified in intermeddling with the politics of the country in which they reside. Such a course of conduct is incompatible with their claim of foreign nationality and can not be sustained by their government, for the reason that to do so would be to claim the right of intervention and control in the domestic affairs of other countries. The Government of the United States is always disposed to maintain the just claims of its citizens abroad. This disposition it has fully illustrated in its care for its citizens residing in Turkey, both native and naturalized. It is well known that, in regard to the latter, the Turkish Government has made strong objections to the exercise of some of the rights claimed by this Government, but this Department has never admitted any discrimination in their treatment and has extended to them the fullest measure of protection. This it has done to them as citizens of the United States who, in swearing allegiance to this Government, have renounced their political connection with that of their origin. In returning to their native country they are bound to act consistently with their new relations and to abstain both from political agitation and from any connection with political interests from which they have dissociated themselves. To mix in the political affairs or to be concerned in movements against the government of the country whose allegiance they have renounced is grossly at variance with their pretensions and a practical renunciation of their newly acquired citizenship. The Government of the United States can not, by sustaining such conduct, become a party to it.

“ As the Department is not informed of the facts upon which the complaint against Dr. Abkarian is founded, it is unable to give you specific instructions as to your course in regard to it. But it is not the purpose of this Government to employ its power so as to enable Ottoman subjects who have obtained naturalization in the United States to return to their native country and engage in political agitation.

“ These general views are conveyed to you for your information as to the way in which the Department regards the various questions

lately raised. Further and more specific instructions will be sent you as occasion may arise."

Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Hirsch, min. to Turkey, No. 147, Jan. 14,

1891, MS. Inst. Turkey, V. 196.
See, also, Mr. Blaine to Mr. Hirsch, No. 148, Jan. 14, 1891, MS. Inst.

Turkey, V. 200.
As to Gurdjian's case, see supra, § 281; and Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State,

to Mr. Terrell, min. to Turkey, Feb. 9, 1894, For. Rel. 1894, 753. “Mr. Gresham recognizes as an attribute of sovereignty the right of Turkey to exclude aliens, and to deport or expel undesirable classes or individuals; the absence of a treaty of naturalization makes it impossible to insist that the naturalization of Armenians in the United States shall be respected by that Government. He instructs Mr. Terrell to use his best efforts for the relief of arrested persons without losing sight of the foregoing.”

Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Mr. Terrell, min. to Turkey, tel. Oct. 27,

1893, For. Rel. 1893, 699. See, also, For. Rel. 1893, 684, 685-688, 189, 693. " Mr. Terrell reports that the Turkish Government will relinquish the

right of imprisoning returning Turkish subjects naturalized in the United States without the consent of the Sultan since 1869 and will confine the assertion of its rights to expel undesirable persons or classes of American citizens to such subjects.” (Mr. Terrell to Mr.

Gresham, tel., Nov. 15, 1893, For. Rel. 1893, 702.) "Mr. Gresham acknowledges receipt of Mr. Terrell's telegram of the 15th,

instructs him to protest against punishment of Armenians who have
become citizens of the United States as criminals, as well as against
their being imprisoned on any ground for too long a time, although
admitting that the Porte has the right to expel them and, incidentally,
to arrest them for the purpose of expulsion." (Mr. Gresham to Mr.

Terrell, tel., Nov. 18, 1893, For. Rel. 1893, 703.)
See, also, memorandum of conversation between Mr. Terrell and Said

Pasha, Nov. 14, 1893, For. Rel. 1893, 704; and Mr. Uhl, Act. Sec. of
State, to Mr. Terrell, Dec. 7, 1893, For. Rel. 1893, 706.

“ Your excellency will doubtless recall the interviews which I have had with you concerning the arrest of two individuals—one at Salonica and the other at Constantinople. In response to the telegrams on the subject which I thereupon sent to His Excellency Said Pasha, I have just received, this very day, his reply. Here it is:

"Article 6 of the Law of the Ottoman Nationality gives to the Imperial Government the right to declare loss of the quality of an imperial subject against any Ottoman subject who shall have been naturalized in foreign parts without the authorization of his Sovereign. In this case, by the terms of the said article, the loss of the quality of an Ottoman subject entails as of full right the interdiction of the return to the Ottoman Empire of him who may have incurred it.

“On the other hand, it is known that our naturalization convention could not hitherto be put in operation on either part, so that we can not act at present in respect of such former Ottoman subjects as may return to Turkey after having acquired American nationality without prior authorization of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, except by applying to them either the 5th article of the law in question, which authorizes the imperial authorities to treat them simply in the character of an Ottoman subject as in the past, or the above-cited provisions of the 6th article of the same law.

“ The arrest of the two above-mentioned individuals is therefore thus explained. The Imperial Government, which had ground to suspect their political intentions as former Ottoman subjects, was constrained to decree their expulsion in application of the sixth article above cited. Their arrest, ordered to this end, has, moreover, been only provisional.

“I hope that the foregoing explanations will satisfy your excellency, and that they will prove to you that the measures enforced by the imperial authorities, are not arbitrary, but are in all points in conformity with the laws and regulations of the Empire.”

Mavroyeni Bey, Turkish min., to Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, Nov. 22,

1893, For. Rel. 1893, 713. For the text of the Ottoman Law of Nationality of Jan. 19, 1869, and of a

circular of March 26, 1869, in relation thereto, see For. Rel. 1893, 714-715.

“I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 22d instant, in which you present certain considerations touching the treatment of persons of Armenian origin who may return to Turkey after having been naturalized in the United States.

The cited articles 5 and 6 of the Ottoman law of January 19, 1869 (6 Cheval, 1285), and the announced policy of the Turkish Government in the application thereof, have had my careful attention.

“In proceeding under the sixth article, whereby declaration by the Imperial Government of loss of Ottoman nationality is claimed to be followed by the right of exclusion or expulsion of the returning Armenians, the Turkish Government removes all question as to the citizenship of the person, and rests its action on the very generally conceded claim of the right to exclude or expel aliens whose coming within Ottoman jurisdiction may be deemed objectionable.

“ I am gratified to learn that, as was confidently to be expected, this treatment of the returning naturalized Armenian as an undesirable alien involves, in case he be found within Turkish territory, no other arrest or detention than such as may be necessary to accomplish the deportation of the individual, thus excluding the punitive phase, which might be open to serious contention."

Mr. Uhl, Act. Sec. of State, to Mavroyeni Bey, Turkish min., Nov. 28,

1893, For. Rel. 1893, 715.

« PreviousContinue »