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Austrian Empire - Offices in

the Turkish Empire - Part I


Austrian Post Office in Jerusalem,
Outside the Jaffa Gate (1898-1917)


The Austrian Empire, as well as other European governments, maintained an extensive system of post offices in the Turkish Empire, motivated by the unreliable postal systems of the Turks.

The Austrians opened their first post office in the Turkish Empire near Istanbul in 1748. This eventually extended to many locations throughout the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean.

Beginning in 1863, postage stamps of the Austrian possession of Lombardy-Venetia were used, but when these areas were turned over to Kingdom of Italy in 1867, the empire had to issue special postage stamps, identical in appearance to the Austrian issues, but denominated in Soldi. Lombardy-Venetia postage stamps used at Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire are VERY scarce.

From 1867, all of the imperial postage stamp issues for post offices in the Turkish Empire are identical to those of the Austrian Empire, with the exception that they are all denominated or surcharged either in Soldi or later on in Turkish Paras and Piasters. As such, the technical production aspects of these stamps will not appear in the sections below, unless they are different from those of their contemporary Austrian postage stamp counterparts.


The 1867 Issues for the Austrian post offices in the Turkish empire are identical in design and color to the same issues of the Austrian Empire 1867 Coarse Printings, except that they are denominated in Soldi instead of Kreuzer. All of the values from 2 Sld. through 25 Sld. are perforated 9 1/2. The 50 Sld. denomination comes in perforation gauges 9, 10 1/2, 12, 13, and compound.

Examples of the 2 Sld. and 50 Sld. denominations are shown in the image above.


The 1878-1883 Fine Printings for the Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire are all shown above. These are identical to the 1874-1880 Fine Printing issues of the Austrian Empire, except for the denominations.

There are only a few perforation varieties on these particular issues though. They are:

  • Perforated 9 1/2 - 2 Sld., 3 Sld., 5 Sld., 10 Sld., 15 Sld., and 25 Sld.
  • Perforated 9 - 5 Sld. and 10 Sld.
  • Perforated 10 1/2 x 9 - 5 Sld. and 10 Sld.
  • Perforated 10 1/2 - 10 Sld. and 15 Sld.


The 1883 Arms definitive stamp designs of Austria were also produced for the Austrian offices in the Turkish Empire, as shown above. These are, of course, denominated in Soldi.

There are only three perforation varieties on these particular issues though. They are:

  • Perforated 9 1/2 - 2 Sld., 3 Sld., 5 Sld., 10 Sld., 20 Sld., and 50 Sld.
  • Perforated 10 - 5 Sld. and 20 Sld.
  • Perforated 10 1/2 - 10 Sld.


In 1886, the 1883 3 Sld. denomination was surcharged 10 PARA 10 in Turkish currency. The new stamp is shown above at the top.

With the change-over to Turkish currency, new stamps were required for the Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire. In 1888, the Arms definitive stamps issued for Austria, denominated in Kreuzer, were surcharged in Turkish currency, to supply the post offices in the Turkish Empire. They are shown above at the center and at the bottom of the image. The surcharged Austrian stamps are all perforated 10. There is a variety of the 1 Piaster surcharge, perforated 13 1/2, which is very rare.




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