Milestones in the Postal History of the Holy Land
Turkish Post in the Holy Land
Prior to 1866, all Turkish mail from the Holy Land was
prepaid and was brought by couriers to the Beirut post
office. The courier who collected the letters noted (in
the top left hand corner) the weight and, underneath it,
the postal charge, based on the weight and the distance
from Beirut. In 1863, when stamps became available in the
Beirut Ottoman Post Office, such letters were franked and
cancelled in Beirut for onward dispatching. There are very
few such letters of both categories recorded.
The first Palestine postmarks were box type and negative
seal type. The boxes were inscribed only with the name of
the town. The seals were inscribed with the name of the
town and with either “Posta Ve Telegraph,” “Posta Hanesi”
Post Office), “Posta Shubesi” (Branch P.O.), or “Telegraph”
only. They all appear to have been randomly used on
letters, telegrams and documents.
Over time, more than 50 permanent and mobile post offices
for example, the mail coach on the line from Damascus to
Haifa or that on the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway), branch post
offices or agencies of the Ottoman Post in Palestine were
The Turkish Post Offices were in constant competition with
the Foreign Post Offices, which operated in the Holy Land
until 30.9.1914 under the Capitulation Agreement. With the
entry of Turkey into WW I, all foreign post offices were
closed down. The Turkish post offices continued to operate
during the war until September, 1918.
”שער יפו - ירושלים“, גלויה, הוצאת אלבינה
וניקודם, ירושלים
Gate of Jaffa - Jerusalem,” postcard,
Albina et Nicodème édit, Jerusalem
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