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...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Turkey in Asia (Anatolia)

1922 Scott 83 10pi dark brown 
"Legendary Gray Wolf"
Quick History
On November 13, 1918, Constantinople (Istanbul) was occupied by French and British troops. The Ottoman Empire collapsed, and the breakup of the Empire was initiated with the August 10, 1920 Treaty of Sevres.

Treaty of Sevres 1920- planned partition of the Ottoman Empire
But the hostile terms of the treaty brought forth a vigorous nationalistic movement, led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The Turkish nationalists fought the Turkish War of Independence. The Nationalist Government was formed in Anakara, and outside of an area around Constantinople, Turkey was controlled by them. 

Turkish War of Independence- Western, Eastern, and Southern Fronts
The stamps of the era are referred to as "Turkey in Asia" or "Anatolia". From 1920 to 1922, stocks of old stamps were overprinted, or revenue stamps were handstamped "Osmanli Postalari 1336" for postal use.

The Liberation of Izmir by the Turkish Army September 9, 1922
The Turkish War of Independence was successful, with the overthrow of the Ottoman Sultanate, the forced withdrawal of Allied forces from Anatolia, and, finally, the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.

Ethnic map of Asia Minor 1914- Armenians in Blue
There were significant number of civilians killed also in the Turkish War of Independence- 260,000 Greeks, and 60,000-250,000 Armenians.

(Then there is the Armenian Genocide by the Ottomans beginning in 1915. Turkey denies this, stating it was just a product of war. The reality is 800,000 - 1,500,000 Armenians died.)

Mustafa Kemal Pasha  (right) with Ismet Pasha, Ankara, 1920
The July, 1923 Treaty of Lausanne created international recognition for the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey.

The Republic was proclaimed on October 29, 1923 in the capital of Ankara. Mustafa Kemal was elected as first President.

1921 Scott 52 5pi red
Overprinted "Osmanli  Postlari 1337"
On Turkish Revenue stamps
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Turkey in Asia 1920-1922, 108 major number descriptions. Of those, 15 are CV <$1-$1+, or 14%. The fact is most of the 1920-21 overprinted or surcharged Revenue or Turkish stamps are fairly expensive (CV $tens to $hundreds to $thousands), and naturally the WW collector will not have many. But, the 1922 lithographic pictorial issues are more reasonable, CV wise.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
40 Paras = 1 Piaster
Issues of the Nationalist Government
1920 Scott 1 3pi on 2pa red lilac
Surcharge reads "Angora 3 Piastres"
In 1920, Turkish stamps of 1913-18 were surcharged in black or red by the Nationalist Government. The surcharge here reads "Angora 3 Piastres".

1921 Scott 50 1pi yellow
Overprinted "Osmanli  Postlari 1337"
On Turkish Revenue stamp
Numerous large revenue stamps were handstamped or (here) overprinted in 1920-1921. I count 41 major number revenues of various sorts that were used postally. Most have the "Osmanli Postlari 1336 (or 1337)" overprint. ("1336" and "1337" is the year 1920 or 1921 respectively.)

1921 Scott 54 1pi on 1pi dark red & blue
Hejaz Railway Tax Stamps Overprinted
In 1921, Hejaz Railway tax stamps were used by overprinting, using Turkish inscriptions.

Colorful, yes? 

10pa brown "Turkish warships"
Naval League Labels
(Overprinted in 1921 for Postage)
Five Naval League stamps had pictures of three Turkish warships, and were sold for the benefit of fleet sailors. In 1921, they were overprinted for use as postage.

1922 Scott 78 10pa violet brown
"Pact of Revenge"
In 1922, a large lithographic issue (twelve stamps, each with a unique design) was released. Fortunately, The lower denominations have a modest CV (<$1-$2 for nine stamps), and should be collected by the WW classical era enthusiast.

1922 Scott 82 5pi dark blue "Soldier"
The chosen design and scene topics are clearly related to the Turkish War of Independence, and are intended to reinforce nationalistic fervor in the movement.

1922 Scott 103 3pi rose
"First Parliament House, Ankara"
In 1922, a six stamp set showing the "First Parliament House, Ankara" was produced. This set is also inexpensive (CV <$1-$4+).

1922 Scott J3 2pi red brown
Postage Due
A wonderfully intricate design was used for the lithographic 1922 five stamp postage due set that was issued.

With the successful establishment of the republic on October 29, 1923, the Nationalist Government was supplanted by the Republic of Turkey. Stamps for the Republic were issued beginning in 1923.

Deep Blue
1922 issue in Deep Blue
"First Parliament House, Ankara"
Deep Blue (Steiner) has eleven pages for the 1920-22 issues of the Nationalist Government. All of the major Scott numbers have a space. The first eight pages comprise the 1920-21 overprinted or surcharged revenue or Turkish stamps, and, because of high CV cost, will remain mostly empty for many WW collectors.

1922 Scott 79 20pa blue green "Izmir Harbor"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 1/2 page (shared with Turkey Air Post on the last page of the the Turkey country pages), has twelve spaces for the lithographic issues of 1922. Big Blue, probably wisely, ignores all the overprinted or surcharged earlier 1920-21 issues that generally have a high CV.

Coverage is 11%.

There are no expensive (Threshold CV $10) stamps required.

As mentioned, the coverage is confined to the 1922 lithographic pictorial issue- a truncated seven spaces-, and the 1922 "Parliament House, Ankara" issue-  a truncated five spaces.




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) (    ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1922 Scott 81 2pi red brown
"Mosque of Selim, Konya"
Out of the Blue
An extremely interesting chapter in the history of Turkey, with stamp issues to match.

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

Comments appreciated!


  1. Another great period for Turkish philately. And, of course,another great post! I like the beautiful engraved stamps of that period (in particular the ovp stamps), but I wonder if some of these stamps are so expensive, what would be the CV in WW auctions? Warm regards, Catalin

  2. Hi Catalin. Many of the overprinted stamps indeed have a high CV. But I do count 10 stamps with CV <$7 in the catalogue.

  3. Hi Jim, nice write up as usual. I really find it funny the way Scott named the country -- "Turkey in Asia (Anatolia)". I don't think that any other country labels a revolutionary period by the geography of much of the fighting. But I could be wrong.
    Thanks for your wonderful site.

    1. Michael-
      Appreciate the nice words, especially coming from you. ;-)

      Yes, the "Turkey in Asia" designation has been around awhile, and according to my '47 Scott, came into common use after 1919.