World War I

Our FOCUS in ONLY on the HOLYLAND (PALESTINE)
Postal Offices (Civilian and Military)

Turkish (Ottoman)
(Civilian and Military)

T

Civilian Post Offices

With the entry of Turkey into WWI, all foreign post offices were closed down.
The Turkish post offices continued to operate during the war until September, 1918
http://alexandercollection.org/collection.aspx#collection=38

Turkish (Ottoman)

Civilian Post Offices

Postcard from Rehovot to California 1915
Description
Postal card sent from Gedera to California, posted at the Turkish post office in Rehovot, franked 10 Para Turkish imprint + 10 para stamps, to pay the 20 para postcard rate, cancelled by “Rehoboth (Jaffa) 20 1 15” postmark. On front framed rectangular “Military Censor 1” cachet. The postcard was sent by Yaacov Shlomo Khazanoff, one of the founders of Gedera, to his son Amram Khazanoff who was a student at Berkeley University.
Date
20/1/1915
Postage
Turkey 1914 issue postal card 10 para green (Birken 77, Michel P42)
Turkey 1914 issue 2×5 para brown overprinted “Abrogation of Capitulation” (Michel 252)
Markings
“Rehoboth (Jaffa) 20 1 15” postmark (Collins PM1)
“Military Censor 1” framed rectangular cachet
Place of Origin
Rehovot
Place of destination
USA
Object Type
Postcard
Reg.Number
MHDA.0792.2012
Glossary
Censored Mail
Para
War Orphans Tax

http://alexandercollection.org/collectionitem.
aspx#collection=129&item=1970803868&startitem=7

Turkish (Ottoman)

Civilian Post Offices

According to Steichle’s book The Osmanische Post in Palestine there were 25 different censor cachets for civilian mail during 1914-1917. Collins in his book The Ottoman post and Telegraph offices in Palestine and Sinai recorded 24 for Palestine proper. Some of these cachets have been in use for a few days only, like the one in Figures 1, 2.

Israel Philatelist    Spring, 2014     p. 41    Rare Jaffa Ottoman Censor Cachet World War I – First Day Cancel

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Military Post Offices

Turkish (Ottoman)

Military Post Offices

Registered letter from FPO 59 Tel El Sheria to Istanbul 1917
Description
Registered letter sent to Istanbul from the XX Corps, which served on the Gaza – Tel El Sheria front from the beginning of May 1917. Franked 20 para imprint + 80 para Turkish stamps to pay the 40 para letter rate + 40 para registration + 20 para War Orphans Tax, all cancelled by “Sahra Postassi 59 – 8-5-333” (Field Post Office 59 – 8-5-1917) postmarks, at top framed registration cachet, at bottom left “XX Corps” special cachet. On front Istanbul “Bebek 25-5-333” arrival postmark.
Date
8/5/1917
Postage
Turkey 1914 issue imprinted envelope 20 para red (Birken 74, Michel U35)
Turkey 1916 issue 1 piaster violet & black (Michel 357)
Turkey 1916 issue 40 para blue with red star & crescent overprint (Michel 469)
Markings
“Sahra Postassi 59 – 8-5-333” (Field Post Office 59 – 8-5-1917) postmark (Collins MP23, Ziya 52)
Framed registration cachet
“Bebek 25-5-333” postmark (Ziya 3)
“XX Corps” special cachet
Place of Origin
Tel El Sheria
Place of destination
Istanbul
Object Type
Imprinted cover
Reg.Number
MHDA.0889.2012
Glossary
Field Post Office
Overprint
Para
Registered Mail
War Orphans Tax

http://www.alexandercollection.org/collectionitem.
aspx#collection=168&item=553716507&startitem=4

Turkish (Ottoman)

Miliatary Post Offices

Card used as postcard from FPO 37 at Nazareth to Aleppo 1915
Description
Postcard sent from Nazareth to Aleppo, dated 28 June 1915. Franked 30 para Turkish stamps to pay the 20 para postcard rate + 10 para War Orphans Tax, cancelled by “Sahra Postassi 37” (Field Post Office 37) negative seal in black.
Date
28/6/1915
Postage
Turkey 1914 issue 20 para red (Michel 234)
Turkey 1914 issue 10 para green with red star overprint (Michel 246)
Markings
“Sahra Postassi 37” (Field Post Office 37) negative seal (Collins MP12)
Place of Origin
Nazareth
Place of destination
Aleppo
Reg.Number
MHDA.0868.2012
Glossary
Negative Seal
Para
War Orphans Tax

http://www.alexandercollection.org/collectionitem.
aspx#collection=167&item=2120228599&startitem=1

Military Post Offices

To deliver and accept mail from troops on active service, especially those in uninhabited desert regions, a special service, the Field Postal Office, came into being. Official mail and mail from soldiers up to the rank of sergeant was accepted post free for destinations within the Ottoman Empire. Higher ranks, however, had to pay the regular postage. The Field Post was also available to civilians, but they had to pay the regular postage rates.

The General Field Post Administration in Istanbul was in charge of the Field Post Offices. It arranged to collect the necessary stamps from the HQ of the Civil Post Office, and sent them to the Field Post Offices. For various reasons (fighting and bad weather conditions), a regular supply of stamps could not be guaranteed. At times, none could be supplied. In such instances, stamps were simply commandeered from the nearest civilian post office.

The FPO’s were supplied with their own postmarks (negative seal type and circular date stamps). They were attached to divisions, army corps, armies, army groups, expeditionary corps, fortress- and base-units. Their offices were at the Staff Headquarters of these units. Authorized agents carried out postal deliveries and collections for battalions and companies. These ‘Postal Couriers’ carried neither a stock of stamps nor cancellers; they collected the money, or items which had to be paid for. They later franked these items at the nearest post office, which then cancelled them. For security reasons, cancellers were exchanged between FPO’s. It is easy to see that this led to hopeless confusion, which led to items being missent or often lost completely.

A reliable assertion about the origin of any item cannot be made solely from the FPO number*, either because the offices changed their station according to the military situation, because a new distribution of cancellers could occur, or because new numbers were issued to new military formations. The definite proof as to whether an item comes from a specific area can only be determined without doubt when not only the dispatch postmark but also the sender’s address can be proved. Only then can we know whether the unit in question operated in Palestine at that particular time*.

It is, therefore, essential to know the troop movements of the Ottoman Army up to 1918 (Editor: and, therefore, ALL OTHER “Central” and “Allies” militaries), in order to prove the origin of any item*.

When the FPO was organized before the First World War, the following concept was introduced for the allocation of FPO numbers to the various units (according to Ismail Hakki Tevfik, captain at the General Staff): “Each Infantry Division consists of three infantry regiments and six field batteries. The regiments stationed in the Arabian area have three battalions each – each has a FPO with the same marking (FPO number) as itself. For instance, the 10th Infantry Division receives FPO 10. Each Army Corps has a Field Post Office; the numbers start at 25. Each Army has an office; here, the numbers begin at 38.”

The clear-cut division of FPO numbers soon broke down. New divisions were formed, which were given FPO numbers of destroyed or disbanded divisions. New army corps were also formed or re-organized.

*(All red font is Editor’s choice)

http://alexandercollection.org/collection.aspx#collection=162