Until the 15th century they were numerous, and enjoyed free exercise of their religion, which was secured to them by capitulations and treaties.
In 1534 Jean de La Foret, a knight of St John of Jerusalem, came to Constantinople as first permanent French ambassador to the Porte, and in February 1 535 were signed the first Capitulations (q.v.) with France.
In spite of frequent causes of friction, good relations were maintained with Venice, through the influence of the sultana Safie, and the capitulations with the republic of St Mark were renewed in 1589.
Those with France were also renewed (July 6, 1581); and capitulations were signed for the first time with the grand duke of Tuscany (1578) and with England (1580).
between France and Austria contracted in 1756; and these resulted in the signature of Capitulations, or a treaty of friendship and commerce (March 22, 1761).