HC Deb 03 December 1909 vol 13 c609W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received any communication with regard to interference by the Ottoman Government with the ancient privileges of the inhabitants of the Sporades Islands; whether this interference is an infraction of constitutional rights formally acknowledged by successive sultans; whether, in a former instance of similar infraction, a successful representation was made by the British Government; and, if so, whether it is intended to make any similar representation on this occasion?


Complaints made by the inhabitants of the Sporades Islands as to the alleged intention of the Turkish Government to curtail the privileges they have hitherto enjoyed have been brought to my notice. It appears, however, that the Turkish Government have not yet definitely announced their intentions in the matter, and till the intentions of the Turkish Government are known it is impossible to state how any measures they may contemplate will affect the islanders. Friendly representations on behalf of the islanders have in the past been made to the Porte by His Majesty's Embassy. But the present case is without precedent in the past, as it appears that the islanders' complaints are against the extension to themselves of rights conferred and obligations imposed on the other subjects of the Turkish Empire as a result of the recent introduction of the Constitutionalrégime.