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Tuesday, January 13, 1863

  Asia 1

Turkey Scott #1
  Turkey #1  

imperf, no wmk, lithographed
Printed by the State Printing Works, Constantinople

The design is printed in black, colors refer to the color of the paper.
Description Band color   Scott # SG # Mi Y&T
Thin paper.
20 paras yellow
  1 1, 1a    
1 piaster dull violet
  2 2, 2a    
2 piaster greenish blue
  4 3, 3a    
5 piaster rose
  5 4, 4a    
Thick, surface colored paper.
20 paras yellow
  6 5, 5a    
1 piaster gray
  7 6, 6a-b    

There is no Scott #3.

This page has been extended in the rewrite.

Turkey offers a satisfyingly complex entry as there are Sultanate, revolutionary and Republic issues, together with a long list of occupation and Office Abroad stamps and a couple of philatelic firsts.

Changes of Administration

Provisional Government
Turkey in Asia
Turkish Republic
1920 Sc1 SG-A1 1923 Sc605 SG974 Sc605

Four sultans ruled Turkey between 1861 to 1918. In 1919 Mustapha Kemal (later Kemal Ataturk) led a rebellion against Allied plans to give territory to France, Greece and Italy and established a provisional government in Ankara (Scott lists this separately as Turkey in Asia ), which started with overprints. This led to the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, with Nationalist overprints being used throughout Turkey before new issues became available.

In Journal v10n1 (2002) Tim Balm (FICC#91) sought to explain Scott's term "Turkey in Asia". Noting that there is no explanation in Scott itself, Tim quotes from Linn's World Stamp Almanac, "At its apex (1550-1683), the Turkish Empire stretched from the borders of Poland and the Russian steppes to the Sahara, and from Algeria to Arabia. From the 17th century on, the Turkish Empire became increasingly weak. ... In a series of generally unsuccessful wars from 1878-1913, most of Turkey's outlying provinces became independent or were lost to its more powerful neighbors". Tim continies, "The defeat of the Central Powers in WWI cost Turkey most of its remaining territory, and by 1919 only Asia Minor remained. Thus, relative to the huge area once controlled by the Turkish/Ottoman empire, the name Turkey in Asia pretty well describes the small area in Asia Minor which Ataturk redirected into modem-day Turkey".


World's First Military stamp
World's First foreign mail stamp
1898 Sc-M1 SG-M162 1901 Sc102 SG175

Turkey is responsible for two relatively minor postal innovations, a stamp for military forces serving abroad and the foreign mail stamp, specifically for mail going abroad (this first is rather debateable as many countries had issued stamps denominated for the cost of overseas mail, but not stating its purpose).

Floyd A. Walker (see Syria) writes, "TURKEY requires twenty-three stamps to cover all the first issues that have come out on what is now considered Turkish soil. There's Turkey #I itself, plus a surprising number of foreign office issues, occupation issues, and other bits and pieces such as the Wrangel Army Refugee Post (#232) issued in 1921. The Turkish section of Scott is fascinating reading."

External Offices
Many of the colonial powers had offices in various parts of the Turkish empire and these are dealt with on a separate pages:
Austria-Hungary, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia.

Sources: ScC, SGP16.

Image sources: NB, TB.

FI ref: 113, 501, 538 Page credit: JA/NB

Page created 19 Feb 2014 Page updated 08-Jul-2017