The Thessaly Army Stamps of Turkey

09 Oct 2018  Tue

‘The Thessaly Army Stamps of Turkey’ were the stamps issued on 16 April, 1898 during a brief Turkish occupation of Thessaly.

Thessaly was an important battleground territory during the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, also called the Thirty Days’ War. The war began in Crete, and Greek army landed in Crete to “liberate” the island from Ottoman control. After the intervention of the European powers, the Greek army attempted to advance northwards into Thessaly and Epirus.

A Turkish battalion was sent to Thessaly. During their brief occupation, five stamps were issued for Turkish occupation forces in Thessaly with the denominations of 10 Turkish para, 20 Turkish para, 1 Turkish piastre, 2 Turkish piastre, and 5 Turkish piastre. The stamps were octagonal and were perforated on all eight sides. The common design featured the toughra of the Sultan and, in the lower part of the central vignette, a view of the railway bridge at Larisa over the river Pinios.

300,000 stamps in the series were printed and the last known date of usage is 9 June 1898. After the Ottoman army withdrew from Thessaly, the remainders of these stamps were sold to two stamp dealers in Paris and Vienna.

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