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German Empire

Offices in the Turkish Empire

Postal History

The German Empire, post offices in the Turkish Empire, offers many wonderful examples of postal history for philatelic study. Each cover has a story to tell. Investigating the postal markings, origin, and destination of a cover can provide great enjoyment to the student of postal history.

Three post cards, two from the German offices in the Turkish Empire and the other from steamship mail, are presented below.

UPU Postcard mailed from the German Empire Postal Authority in Constantinople, Turkey to Rosario de Santa Fe, Argentina, on New Year’s Eve 1897. Postmark of German Offices in the Turkish Empire, * CONSTANTINOPEL * DEUTSCHE POST / 31 12 / 97. Transit marking on front from Lisbon, Portugal, LISBOA CENTRAL 2 SECCAO / 7 1 98.

Card has New Year’s message in French. Receipt stamp of Rosario de Santa Fe, Argentina on the back, dated EN 30 (January 30). Back of the card features a vignette of the Santa Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople (Istanbul).

Souvenir picture postcard mailed from the German Empire Postal Authority in Jerusalem, Palestine to Belfast, Ireland in 1911. Postmark of German Offices in the Turkish Empire, * JERUSALEM * DEUTSCHE POST / 4 6 / 11.

The franking features the 1908 Offices in the Turkish Empire issue 10 Pf. stamp, surcharged in French currency -- 10 Centimes. Previous Turkish Empire post office agency issues had all been valued in Para and Piasters, the Turkish currency.

Back of the card features a hand-colored picture of Gethsemane, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, and the walled city of Jerusalem in the distance.

Turn of the 20th Century postcard depicting the Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, Palestine. A 10 Pf. Deutsches Reich Germania stamp was used to mail the card from Palestine and it is tied by a DEUTSCHE SEEPOST / * q / OST- / AFRICA / LINIE / 18 – 1 / 14 Cancel. If this card were mailed from Palestine, it is likely that it was mailed from the Port of Jaffa (Haifa) on board a German ship of the DEUTSCH OST-AFRICA LINIE.

THE DEUTSCH OST-AFRICA LINIE was created at the same time as the German East Africa Colony, and their steamships made weekly trips from Hamburg, Germany, through the Mediterranean, and down the East Coast of Africa to the German East Africa Colony. In 1914, its fleet consisted of 22 steamers.

The card received a transit cancel the next morning, at Port-Taufiq, Egypt, and it appears to have entered the Egyptian mail service there. The cancel reads, PORT-TAUFIQ / 19.1.14 6 30 AM. Port-Taufiq was actually one of the harbors within the Port of Suez, Egypt. That same day, the card reached Alexandria, Egypt, and received another transit cancel, ALEXANDRIA / 19.1.14 4.- PM. From there, the card probably used another means of transportation, probably another steamship, to finally get to the addressee in Holland.

The rest of the voyage of this postal history item is a mystery, as there are no other postal markings on the card.

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