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First servicesAustria gained permission in 1721 to operate a postal service for official correspondence only and subsequently this was extended to the opening of post offices and carrying mail for merchants. This resulted in 1748 with the establishment of a post office in Galata outside of Istanbul, and eventually extended to dozens of locations throughout the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean.
Beginning in 1863, stamps of Lombardy-Venetia were used, but after the losses of these areas in 1867, Austria had to issue special stamps; in appearance identical to Austrian stamps of the period, but denominated in soldis and florins. In 1886 this was changed to paras and piasters to match Turkish money, first by surcharging the existing stamps of the offices, then regular Austrian stamps.
Stamps printed specifically for the offices resumed in 1906, by using Austrian stamps missing the denomination (at this point the denomination of Austrian stamps was printed in a second step), and the Jubilee issue of 1908 included the same designs denominated in piasters.
While early issues are not common, the volume of mail by the end of the empire was such that both used and unused stamps are still commonly available.
Postal stationeryThe first items of Postal stationery to be made available to Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire were envelopes in 1867. A total of 10 different envelopes in soldi currency were issued up to 1872, these were valid for use till 31 October 1884. Only one envelope was ever issued in French currency in 1908.
Postcards were first issued in 1873 in soldi currency, 5 different postcards were issued. Then in 1888 these were replaced by an issue in Turkish currency, a total of 13 different items were issued before these were replaced by postcards in French currency in 1903. A total of 10 different postcards are known in French currency.
One lettercard only was issued in soldi currency in 1886. Four different lettercards were issued in Turkish currency one each in 1888, 1890, 1900 and 1908.
During the period of Turkish currency only three different newspaper wrappers were issued one each in 1890, 1900 and 1908. One newspaper wrapper was issued in French Currency in 1908.
- 1906, 10 paras used at Beirut