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German post offices in the Ottoman Empire: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The German post offices abroad were a network of post offices in foreign countries established by Germany to provide mail service where the local services were deemed unsafe or unreliable. They were generally set up in cities with some sort of German commercial interest. In early use only the cancellation mark can identify their postal use aboad; such stamps are known as "Vorläufer" (forerunner) stamps.[1] Later stamps are identified by overprints even when not postally used. German abroad stamps started appearing in the late 19th century and reached their heyday at the beginning of the 20th century; they closed down during or shortly after World War I.

It was not unusual for countries to maintain such offices in other countries; countries with similar offices abroad include Austria-Hungary, China, France, Greece, Italy, Romania, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the latter part of 19th century and into the 20th century, having extraterritorial post offices was one indication of a nation's international power.[2]

Stamps from German post offices abroad are popular with collectors and some are quite valuable. The highest price paid for a single stamp has been for the 40 Pfennig Germania hand-stamped "China" (Tientsin issue) from 1900 that realized 100,152 Euros at a 2006 auction.[3]


German post offices in China

China, 1905

German post offices in China (German: Deutsche Post in China) started to operate in 1886. Initially definitive stamps were used without overprint; their use in China is only recognizable by the cancellation stamp. In 1898 "China"-overprinted stamps were issued. From 1900 onwards, the Germania stamps were used with "China" overprints. In addition, after 1905, instead of (Reichs)Mark and Pfennig, the valuta was changed to dollars and cents. German post offices closed after China declared war on Germany on March 3, 1917. [4]

Post offices existed in these towns (name per cancellation stamps):[5]

In addition, during the Boxer rebellion (1900-01) ten military mail offices were maintained.[6]

German post offices in Morocco

German post offices in Morocco (German: Deutsche Post in Marokko) started to operate in 1899. German definitive stamps were used with overprints; after the first issue the valuta was changed to pesetas and centimos. German post offices closed in French-controlled Morocco in 1914, and in Spanish-controlled Morocco on June 16, 1919.):[7]

Morocco, 1905

Post offices existed in these towns (name per cancellation stamps):[8]

German post offices in the Turkish Empire

On March 1, 1870, the Norddeutscher Postbezirk opened the first office in Constantinople (Istanbul) using definitive stamps without overprint. After January 1872, the Reichspost took over the management of the office and expanded it further as "Deutsche Post in der Tũrkei". Reichspost definitive stamps were used, after 1884 with overprints in the local denomination, piaster and para, after 1908 in French centimes. No country overprints were issued. With the entry of Turkey into WWI the offices were closed on September 9, 1914.[9]

Turkey, 1900

Post offices existed in these towns (name per cancellation stamps):[10]


The Reichspost issued briefly stamps without overprints from an agency in Zanzibar from 1890-91; these stamps are identified by the cancellation mark.[11] (In catalogues the issue may be listed as a forerunner to German East Africa, but it was not part of it).

See also





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