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Russians in Constantinople Must Accept Soviet Nationality

November 2, 1923
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The Jewish refugees in Constantinople, said to number a few thousand, are in the predicament of other Russian refugees who are faced with the choice of either accepting Soviet Russian nationality or being expelled from Constantinople.

It is pointed out that if they accept the former, they are likely to be deported to Russia at the request of the Soviet authorities. If they accept expulsion there seems to be no place for them to go except to the United States where the Russian immigration quota is being rapidly exhausted.

The American Red Cross, the Bristol Diaaster Relief Committee, an American relief organization at Constantinople, and an “American Society for the Relief of Russian Refugees” are facilitating the departure of the “pure” Russians. These are, for the most part, former soldiers and officers in the Wrangel army for whom deportation to Russia, it is thought, would mean death.

The work is being carried on under the auspices of the League of Nations’ High Commissariat for Russian refugees who bear the transport expenses of the emigrants.

The Jewish refugees receive little or no help from these organizations, the other relief associations depending entirely on the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Colonization Association. It is reported in these quarters that visas have been secured for a part of the Jewish refugees, and that the others are being assisted in settling down to live in Constantinople where they may apply for Turkish citizenship if they should waive the Soviet Russian nationality.

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