A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


1929 Scott 13 30p light violet & aquamarine
"Map of Hatay"
Quick History
Hatay State (Turkish: Hatay Devleti), northwest of Syria, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, was a transitional state that existed between September 7, 1938 to June 29, 1939.  The Capital was Antakya (Antioch), and the population was 234,000.

Originally part of the Ottoman Empire, the area, known as the Sanjak of Alexandretta, was occupied by France after WWI as part of the French Mandate of Syria.

Read about "Alexandretta" here....


Turkey, under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, refused to accept that the Sanjak of Alexandretta was part of the Mandate, and argued that it was a "Turkish homeland for forty centuries".

Sanjak of Alexandretta/ Hatay State (blue)
French Mandate of Syria
In 1936, communal riots between Turks and Arabs broke out, and there was impassioned articles in the rival Turkish and Syrian press. Ataturk demanded that Alexandretta become part of Turkey, who claimed  the majority of residents were Turks.

Turkish forces enter Iskenderin on July 5, 1938
Based on the 1938 census held by the French, Turks were given 22 out of 40 seats in the Sanjak Assembly. But Turkish forces (See image)  had removed many of the Arab and Armenian inhabitants just before the census.

On September 2, 1938, the assembly proclaimed the new Hatay State. The name "Hatay" had been proposed by Ataturk himself, and the government was under Turkish control.

Protests in Damascus against Turkeys annexation
 of Alexandretta in 1939

On September 6, the constitution was adopted by the assembly. Then  a flag was adopted (sketched by Ataturk), and Turkish was declared the state language, with French as a secondary language.  All Turkish laws were adopted, and the Turkish lira became the official currency on March 13, 1939.

On June 29, 1939, the Hatay legislature voted to dissolve the Hatay State and join Turkey.

The Hatay province was approved by Turkey, and by July 23, 1939, all remaining French Mandate authorities left Antakya.

Does this history whet your appetite for the stamps of Hatay? It does mine. ;-)

Overprinted Turkish stamps for both regular and postage due issues were produced in 1939, followed by Hatay's own stamps.

Let's take a look...
Hatay Province of Turkey after annexation
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for 1939, 50 major stamp descriptions for regular and postage due issues. Forty- four stamps (88%) have a CV between <$1-$4. Clearly affordable.

A closer look at the stamps and issues.
100 Santims = 1 Kurush
40 Paras = 1 Kurush (1939)
1939 Scott 11 20ku on 25ku Prussian  Blue
Stamps of Turkey, 1931-38, surcharged
The first issue for Hatay was surcharged on 1931-38 stamps of Turkey.  Appropriately enough, since he was largely responsible for the creation of the State, is a portrait of Ataturk.

The issue consisted of eleven stamps, with a CV ranging from <$1-$4+; although mostly on the low side.

1939 Scott 16 3ku light blue "Lions of Antioch"
Hatay's own issue followed  soon with a very nice four design production. The stamp illustrated above was the second design, and featured, from ancient city of Antioch (now Antakya), the "Lions of Antioch". The first design , showing a "Map of Hatay", is illustrated at the post header.

1939 Scott 20 12ku violet & carmine "Flag of Hatay"
The third design, featuring the "Flag of Hatay" (sketched and proposed by Ataturk), is found on the middle values. The issue, altogether, had thirteen stamps with a CV of <$1-$3+ for twelve stamps.

1939 Scott 23 25ku olive brown "Post Office"
The high denominations had an image of the post office, as shown. In summary, a very nice set. ;-)

This issue, along with the regular 1939 postage due issue, were then overprinted with "Date of annexation to the Turkish Republic, June 30, 1939". These stamps (seventeen total) have a CV of <$1-$4+ for fifteen of them. I have no examples to show. ;-)

1939 postage due Scott J4 5ku on 12ku bright rose
Surcharged on 1936 postage due stamps of Turkey
Also surcharged on stamps of Turkey for postage due duties was a 1939 five stamp issue as illustrated. The CV for the first four stamps are <$1.

Finally, a four stamp postage due issue featuring the "Castle of Antioch" was produced. These stamps were also overprinted for the annexation date to Turkey, as mentioned previously

The "Castle of Antioch" postage due stamps (illustrated later in the post) have a CV of $1-$2..

Deep Blue
The 1939 Hatay surcharged postage due in Deep Blue
This issue not found in Big Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner), on four pages, has all the major spaces listed in Scott. My collection consists of stamps which are in Big Blue, as well as some that are not, such as those illustrated on the left here.

Deep Blue provides spacious room for my virtual "Big Blue", which is still my main focus and goal. I use the checklist for Big Blue as a want list to help populate the Deep Blue album.

1939 Scott 3 50s on 2ku dark violet "Ataturk"
Surcharged 1931-38 stamps of Turkey
Big Blue
There is a significant difference between the Hatay spaces for the '69/'97 edition and the '47/'41 editions of Big Blue.

The '69 BB, on two lines of one page, has spaces for thirteen stamps. Coverage is 26%. (Other countries on the page includes Hejaz and Horta.)

The '47/'41 BB, on the other hand, has one full page!, with spaces for 25 stamps, including all the stamps in the '69/'97 editions. Coverage is 50%. (Page is found between Guatemala and Guinea.)

I would like to ring the necks of the '69 editors....Just kidding!   ;-)

Seriously, what a poor decision for recent edition BB collectors.

So, I will present a checklist for the '69, followed with a supplemental checklist of the additional stamp spaces found in the '41/'47 editions.

And just for kicks, I've removed the appropriate stamps from my virtual Big Blue housed in Deep Blue, and put them on the '47 edition BB Hatay page for a group picture.

Big Blue '47 and the stamps of Hatay

I think this is one of the few countries in BB that I have managed (so far) to completely fill all the spaces: the goal of every BB collector. But I have a long way to go. ;-)  

Readers, how many countries have you filled in Big Blue?

The '47/'41 page looks good, but are there additional (cheap) stamps that could be collected?

I did comb the CV's for Hatay that are not in the '47/'41 BB, and found, for CV <$1-$2, 18 additional stamps that could be considered by the frugal classical collector.


'69 edition

'47/'41 edition supplement

Postage Due

A) Expensive stamps (Threshold $10): None
B) (   ) around a space is for a blank space choice
C) Note I include the inventory for the '69 edition, and then a supplemental listing of stamps in the '41/'47 editions.
1939 postage due Scott J6 1ku red orange "Castle at Antioch"
Out of the Blue
I love it when interesting history and stamps intersect.  ;-)

Hatay - Bud's Big Blue

Note: Maps, pics appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?
Church of St. Peter in Antakya (Antioch)
The  facade built by the Crusaders in 1100


  1. I'd say the history disgusts me rather than whets my appetite for Hatay stamps. Antioch was the ancient, ancient capital of West Syria.

    Forty centuries, indeed!

    The Turks arrived in the Near East only in the 900s. After they conquered and slowly drove out the Christian Greeks from Asia Minor (the Attaturk Turks are the ones who systematically completed this slow process, during the 1930s-1960s), then committed genocide against the Armenian Christians, then took half of Cyprus, and now this . . . (which I did not know about until reading your blog entry, for which I thank you), . . . and then the present Turkish government is spending megabucks at my university (and elsewhere, I presume) with glossy magazines, dinners, lectures etc., to present Turkey as the great enlightened future of the world, well, I've just had my fill of Turkish B.S.

    But I must say that you've helped me immensely with this entry. I knew that ancient Antioch was in present-day Turkey but never knew why. I'd tell my students (when I teach ancient history) about this great city, one of the four great cities of the Ancient Mediterranean--Carthage, Rome, Alexandria and Antioch--and tell them to find it on the map of Turkey. It always had seemed so odd that Antioch,sitting below the Tarsus Mountains and geographically just not fitting, should be part of Turkey.

    Now I know why.

    And, yes, the stamps are interesting :-) So maybe I'll have to pursue some, since my main interest in collection worldwide is to create a miniature snapshot of the world and its history at the time I was born, before the colonial empires all disintegrated and 1968 revolutions changed everything else.


  2. Stamps-those little tangible pieces of history- reflect man's humanity-and inhumanity- to man.

    I find stamps attractive even when they reflect the underlying ugliness of the history. Think Germany during 1936-1945, or Stalin's Russia.

    And no one peoples have the monopoly on execrable behavior.

  3. Any sense of how frequently fake overprints of Turkish stamps appear in the Hatay material on the market? Scott has no warning about counterfeits. Can one assume that most of the mint overprinted Hatay on the market are genuine?


  4. That is my assumption. ;-)

    The surcharged Hatay does not have a high CV. The Turkish forgeries reported are for an earlier era. And there is no mention in Scott.

  5. Indiana Jones visited Hatay in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" :)

  6. As luck would have, I attended a concert today in Mexico City with the music of John Williams and the theme music of....Indiana Jones. ;-)

  7. # AnonymousSeptember 13, 2012 at 3:21 AM
    # JimSeptember 13, 2012 at 7:42 AM

    No forger worth his salt would be interested in counterfeiting
    these worthless [ NOT for us philatelists, mind you !] issues
    since the *RETURNS would hardly be remunerative.

    For the same amount of work, he might as well fake the issues
    that command 3-figure / 4-figure values.

    Makes sense, does it not ?

    1. Well, no. Many forgeries were made for the packet trade. What the forger lost with CV, they made up with volume.