List of Ottoman post offices in Palestine

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The List of Ottoman post offices in Palestine contains those post offices operated in Palestine during Ottoman rule. The establishment of a new imperial postal system in 1834 and development of the transportation network resulted in vast improvements in the transport and communications systems. International and domestic post offices were operated by the Ottoman administration in almost every large city in Palestine, including Acre, Haifa, Safed, Tiberias, Nablus, Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Gaza.[1]

The Imperial edict of 12 Ramasan 1256 (14 October 1840)[2] led to substantial improvements in the Ottoman postal system and a web of prescribed and regular despatch rider (tatar) routes was instituted.[3] Beginning in 1841, the Beirut-route was extended to serve Palestine, going from Beirut via Damascus and Acre to Jerusalem.[4]

Postal services were organized at the local level by the provincial governors and these leases (posta mültesimi) came up for auction annually in the month of March.[3] It is reported that in 1846 Italian businessmen Santelli and Micciarelli became leaseholders and ran a service from Jerusalem to Ramle, Jaffa, Sûr, and Saida.[5] By 1852, a weekly service operated from Saida via Sûr, Acre (connection to Beirut), Haifa, and Jaffa to Jerusalem, also serving Nablus beginning in 1856. That same year, two new routes came into operation: Jerusalem–Hebron–Gaza, and Tiberias–Nazareth–Chefa Omer–Acre.[6] In 1867, the Jerusalem-Jaffa route operated twice a week, and beginning in 1884, the Nablus-Jaffa route received daily despatches.[6]

Initially all the postal facilities had the status of relay stations, and letters received their postmarks only at the Beirut post office. In contradiction to that rule, a small number of markings Djebel Lubnan have been discovered:[7] these are believed by philatelists to have been applied by a relay station at Staura (Lebanon). In the 1860s, most relay stations were promoted to the status of branch post offices and received postmarks, initially only negative seals, of their own.[8] The postmarks of an office's postal section usually contained the words posta shubesi, as opposed to telegraf hanei for the telegraph section. In 1860 ten postal facilities worked in Palestine, rising to 20 in 1900 and 32 in 1917.

Ottoman post offices[edit]

Place name (Name)[O 1] Population
(Year)[O 2]
Est.[O 3] Dates of Known Usage[O 4] Refs.
Ord.[O 5] Reg.[O 6] Off.[O 7] Tel.[O 8] Cens.[O 9]
Acre (`Akkâ) 12000 (1915) 1841 1869–1918 1885–1918 1884–1914   1916–1917 [9][10][11]
Afula (`Afula)   1919 1917–1918 1918       [12][13][14]
Aioun Cara (`Uyûn Qâra) 950 (1916)   1904–1916 1916       [15][16][17]
Beit Djala (Bait Djâla) 6000 (1915)   1913–1916         [16][17][18]
Beni Saab (Tulkarem) (Beni Sa`b) 5000 (1916)   1879–1918 1917 1912–1913 1912 1917–1918 [19][20][21]
Bethlehem (Bait al-Lahm) 12000 (1915) 1870 1900–1917 1895–1917   1885–1914   [17][22][23]
Bireh (al-Bîra) 1000 (1910)   1908–1917     1917   [17][24][25]
Bir ul-Sebbe (Bi'r as-Seb`a) 3000 (1915)   1911–1917 1916   1883 1915–1917 [17][26][27]
Bissan (Beysân) 3000 (1910) <1903 1908–1918         [14][20][28]
Bon Samaritain (Khân al-Hatrûra)     1902–1914         [17][29][30]
Chefa Omer (Shefâ `Amr) 3000 (1918)   1890–1918         [31][32][33]
(Rehoboth) (Daurân) 1200 (1918)   1910–1915 1916       [34][35][36]
Djaune (Rosch-Pinah) (Djâ`ûn) 1000 (1918)   1910–1918         [13][37][38]
Djenine (Djanîn) 2000 (1910) 1871 1871–1918 1918   1895–1897   [38][39][40]
Gaza (Ghaza) 30000 (1915) 1856 1970-1917 1902–1917 1893–1903   1916 [17][41][42]
Hafir (Hafîr)     1915–1917         [17][43][44]
Haifa (Hayfâ) 20000 (1915) 1852 1865–1918 1898–1918   1901–1918 1914–1918 [33][45][46]
Haifa Hejaz Railway (Hîfâ Hîmîdiya Hidjâz Demiûryolu)     1907         [33][47][48]
Haifa Iskelesi (Port Railway) (Hîfâ `Isqelesi)   <1909 1914         [49][50]
Haifa Sari ul-Kanasil (German Quarter) (Hayfâ Shâri`a al-Qanâsil)   <1909 1914         [51][52]
Halasa (Halâsa)     1916–1917         [44][53]
Halil ul-Rahman (Khalîl ar-Rahmân) 22000 (1916) 1850 1892–1917 1909–1912 1903–1904     [17][44][54]
Jaffa (Yafa) 40000 (1915) 1838 1868–1917 1984-1917   1865–1916 1914–1917 [55][56][57]
Jaffa Iskelesi (Port) (Yafa Iskelesi)     1895–1899         [57][58][59]
Jaffa Menchie (Menshiye)     1910–1915         [36][59][60]
Jaffa Tel Abib (Tel Abîb)   <1914 1917         [36][59][61]
Jericho (Arîhâ) 1000 (1910) 1900 1900–1918         [35][57][62]
Jerusalem (al-Quds) 80000 (1915) 1841 1868–1917 1890–1917 1877–1899 1866–1917 1914–1917 [63][64][65]
Jerusalem Camp Imperial (Qudüs Iqâmetkâ-i Imperâtûri)     1898         [66][67][68]
Jerusalem Gare (Qudüs Demûryûli)     1901–1911         [67][69]
Jerusalem Mahna Juda (Mahnâ Yûdâ)     1909–1912         [68][70][71]
Jerusalem Méo-Charem (Mûsh`arem)     1904–1917 1910–1917       [68][71][72]
Jerusalem Nahlat Shiva (Nahlât Sh(?)îvâ)     1913         [68][71][73]
Jerusalem Nôtre Dame de France (Nutr Dâm da Frânsâ)     1912         [74][75]
Jerusalem Quartier Israelite (Yehûdi Mahalasi)     1895–1917 1896–1917       [76][77][78]
Jerusalem Souk el-Attarine (Sûq el-`Atârîn)     1907–1917         [68][75][79]
Khan Younesse (Khân Yûnis)   <1909 1914–1916         [30][57][80]
Led (Lod) 7000 (1915) <1895 1908–1917         [30][57][81]
Medjdil (Medjdil) 3000 (1915) <1899 1899–1917         [57][82][83]
Nablus (Nâblus) 27000 (1916) 1856 1868–1918 1892–1915 1871–1898   1918 [33][84][85]
Nasrie (Nasira) 15000 (1915) 1856 1871–1918 1891–1918 1871–1903 1885–1901 1915–1917 [38][86][87]
Ramallah (Râm Allâh) 5000 (1915) <1903 1904–1915         [36][83][88]
Ramle (Ramla) 7000 (1915) 1853 1892–1917   1894–1899     [36][89][90]
Safed (Safed) 20000 (1914)   1875–1918 1895–1918 1915 1885–1913 1915 [91][92]
Samah (Samâh)     1916–1918         [36][93][94]
Sheria Nehri Jourdain (Sherî`a Nehri)     1915         [57][95][96]
Tabarya (Tabarya) 6000 (1916) 1856 1871–1918 1904–1917 1915 1885–1915   [38][97][98]
Umm Lebes (Petah Tikwa) (Mlibes) 3600 (1915)   1910–1917 1915–1917       [36][96][99][100]
Zamarin (Zamârîn) 1000 (1914) <1899 1912–1918 1918       [38][101][102]

A number of post offices are only known from archival material such as proof strikes of postmarks in Turkish PTT archives or lists prepared by the Ottoman Post for the UPU before 1914. Philatelists have so far not recorded any genuinely used postmarks or other postal material for these postal facilities:

Place Name (Name) Est. Notes Refs.
al-`Audja (al-`Audja)   possibly identical to Hafir [35][43]
Asloudj (Bi'r `Aslûdj)   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [23][103][104]
Bâb al-Wadd     [16]
Beit Sahur (Bait Sâhûr)   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [16][105]
Bir Birin (Bi'rain)   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [104][106][107]
Bir el Zeit (Bi'r az-Zait)   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [35][106]
Chaara, Wadi el-Shara (Sha`râ)     [108]
Dekirmen Bûrrni   listed only in 1884 PTT lists[citation needed] [35]
Dharbat as-Sumra (Dharbat as-Sumra)     [13]
Djemain (Jammain)[citation needed]   listed only in 1892 & 1899 PTT lists[citation needed] [citation needed]
Djesr el-Majami (Mujami Bridge) (Djezr al-Madjâmi) 1909 railway station with telegraph office, listed in 1909 PTT lists [109][110]
Haifa Alman Mahallesi (Almân Mahllasi)   possibly identical to Haifa Sari ul-Kanasil (German Quarter) [33][50]
Haifa Eastern Gate (Haifa Elbevabet ash-Sharqiya)     [50]
Haifa Hotel Nasara   listed in 1914 PTT lists[citation needed] [50]
Haifa Iskele     [50]
Haifa Istayonu     [50]
`Irâq al-Manshîya (`Irâq al-Manshîya)   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [30]
Jaffa Souk el-Attarin (Souk el-`Attârin)     [59]
Jaffa Souk el-Necar (Souq al-Nekhâr)   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [59][111]
Jerusalem Grande Rue (Ghrând Nû Aûtel)   only an agency cachet known, doubtful [68][71][112]
Jerusalem Souk el-Tudjdjar (Sûq el-Tudjâr)   listed in 1909 PTT lists [75][113]
Kalkile (Qalqîla) 1913 only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [108][113]
Kaysariya (Qaysârîya) 1913 besides being known as a (telegraph) proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara, genuinely used copies have been reported.[citation needed]. Suspected to be actually the town in Anatolia.[113] [50][113]
Mesmiye (Mesmiya)   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [68][83][114]
Nablus Hükumet Konag Karshusu (Hukûmat Qunâghi Qarshûsi)     [100]
Safed Yahudi Mahallesi (Yahûdi Mahallasi)   listed in 1909 PTT lists[citation needed] [115]
Salfit (Salfît) 1903? listed in 1903 PTT lists [95][108]
Sebastiya (Sabâstîyâ)   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [93][108]
Sharaviye (Sha`raviya (Djenîn))   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara [108]
Shatta (Beit Ha Shitta) 1909 railway station with telegraph office, listed in 1909 PTT lists [32][95]
Tantoura (Tantûra) <1899 only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara, listed in PTT lists 1899-1909 [61][102]
Tel esh-Shamame (Tal ash-Shamâm) <1909 railway station with telegraph office, listed in 1909 PTT lists [61][102]
Wadi el-Harar (Wâdî al-Harâr)   only known as proof strike in PTT Archives Ankara; possibly the Wadi Sarrar railway station.[116] Presumed to be presently known as Kharas, north west of Hebron.[citation needed] Wadies Sarar to the west of Jerusalem was a military siding with no civilian postal facility.[117] [96][116]
Yebne (Yebna)     [118]

Travelling post offices[edit]

Travelling post offices existed on three routes:

  • The Jaffa–Jerusalem route was officially opened on September 26, 1892 with stops at Jaffa, Ludd, Ramle, Sedshed, Deir Aban, Bittir, and Jerusalem.[119] In 1888, the developer Joseph Navon had received a 71-year license, which he later sold to French investors, who operated the company as Société du Chemin de Fer Ottoman de Jaffa à Jerusalem et Prolonguements. The company was nationalized at the start of the war in 1914. Navon's license expressly prohibited the company from transporting mail for the various foreign post offices.[119] Postmarks for this travelling post office, some inscribed Bur. Amb. Jerusalem–Jaffa, are registered by collectors from May 13, 1893 to December 14, 1914.[120][121]
  • The Damascus–Haifa route was completed in 1906 as a branch of the Hejaz Railway with stops at Dera'a, Muzerib, Zeizun, Tel el-Makarim, El-Hadshara, Wadi Kleit, El-Hammi, Semach, Dshisr el-Majami, Beit Shean, Shatta, Afule, Tel esh-Shamam, Esh-Shamaria, and Haifa. Postmarks for this travelling post office, inscribed Damas–Caiffa, are registered by collectors from 1908 to June 2, 1921 (one postmark remained in use during E.E.F. control).[122]
  • The Messudshi–Nablus route was completed in 1914. Use of the postmark inscribed Nablous–Caiffa/Ambulant is only known for September 25, 1914.[123][124]

No TPO postmarks are known for other railway lines operating during this period, irrespective of whether these lines actually did transport mail. Lines operating were (year of completion): Acre–Beled esh-Shech (1912), Afule–Djennine (1913), Djennine–Messudshi (1914), Messudshi–Tulkarem–Ludd (1915), Wadi Sarrar–Et-Tine–Beersheba, Beersheba–Hafir (1915), Et-Tine–Gaza (1916), and Deir el-Balah–Beersheba (1916).[122]

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

Header Notes
  1. ^ Name of the town or village, as used at the time, plus transcription.
  2. ^ Population estimate, latest available figure pre-1918.
  3. ^ Establishment of a postal facility (relay or telegraph station, agency, etc.)
  4. ^ Dates of actual use of postmaks, recorded by philatelists.
  5. ^ Ordinary mail: dated and undated postmarks.
  6. ^ Registered mail: teahud olunmushdur marks and labels.
  7. ^ Official mail: tahirat mühumme markings.
  8. ^ Telegraph marks telegraf chane ve posta.
  9. ^ Censor markings: mu'ajene olunmushdur or sansur.
Notes
  1. ^ Levy, 1998, p. 536.
  2. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 17-21.
  3. ^ a b Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 17.
  4. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 21
  5. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 21-22, quoting Tobias Tobler Memorabilia from Jerusalem, 1853.
  6. ^ a b Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 22.
  7. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 25.
  8. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 23.
  9. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 31-38.
  10. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, pp. 21, 23.
  11. ^ Coles & Walker, Vol. II, p. 74.
  12. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 39.
  13. ^ a b c Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 24.
  14. ^ a b Coles & Walker, Vol. II, p. 75
  15. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 40-41.
  16. ^ a b c d Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 51.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i Coles & Walker, Vol. II, p. 81.
  18. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 42.
  19. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 44-47.
  20. ^ a b Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 38.
  21. ^ Coles & Walker, Vol. II, pp. 75, 78.
  22. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 48-51.
  23. ^ a b Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 52.
  24. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 53-55.
  25. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, pp. 52-53.
  26. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 56-59.
  27. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, pp. 53-54.
  28. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 60.
  29. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 61.
  30. ^ a b c d Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 57.
  31. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 62-63.
  32. ^ a b Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 32.
  33. ^ a b c d e Coles & Walker, Vol. II, p. 76.
  34. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 176.
  35. ^ a b c d e Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 54.
  36. ^ a b c d e f g Coles & Walker, Vol. II, p. 83.
  37. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 177.
  38. ^ a b c d e Coles & Walker, Vol. II, p. 78.
  39. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 64-67.
  40. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 39.
  41. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 68-74
  42. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, pp. 55-56.
  43. ^ a b Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 75.
  44. ^ a b c Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 56.
  45. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 77-87.
  46. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, pp. 24-27.
  47. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 89.
  48. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 27.
  49. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 90.
  50. ^ a b c d e f g Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 28.
  51. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 88.
  52. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, pp. 27, 28.
  53. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 91.
  54. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 92-96.
  55. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 97-107.
  56. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, pp. 60-64.
  57. ^ a b c d e f g Coles & Walker, Vol. II, p. 82.
  58. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 108.
  59. ^ a b c d e Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 64.
  60. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 110.
  61. ^ a b c Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 186.
  62. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 111-112.
  63. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 113-122.
  64. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, pp. 39-46.
  65. ^ Coles & Walker, Vol. II, pp. 69-71.
  66. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 139.
  67. ^ a b Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 48.
  68. ^ a b c d e f g Coles & Walker, Vol. II, p. 72.
  69. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 140.
  70. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 136.
  71. ^ a b c d Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 46.
  72. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 141-142.
  73. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 137.
  74. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 138.
  75. ^ a b c Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 47.
  76. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 143-146.
  77. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, pp. 47-48.
  78. ^ Coles & Walker, Vol. II, pp. 71-72.
  79. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 147.
  80. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 149.
  81. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 151-152.
  82. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 153-154.
  83. ^ a b c Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 58.
  84. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 157-162.
  85. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 35, 37.
  86. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 163-168.
  87. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, pp. 29-30.
  88. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 174-175.
  89. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 171-173.
  90. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 59.
  91. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 178-183.
  92. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, pp. 30-31.
  93. ^ a b Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 184.
  94. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 32.
  95. ^ a b c Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 185.
  96. ^ a b c Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 60.
  97. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 187-191.
  98. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, pp. 33-34.
  99. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 169-170.
  100. ^ a b Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 37.
  101. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 192-193.
  102. ^ a b c Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 34.
  103. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 41.
  104. ^ a b Coles & Walker, Vol. II, p. 88.
  105. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 43.
  106. ^ a b Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 52.
  107. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 53.
  108. ^ a b c d e Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 40.
  109. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 67.
  110. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, pp. 24, 32.
  111. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 109.
  112. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 135.
  113. ^ a b c d Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 148.
  114. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 156.
  115. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, p. 31.
  116. ^ a b Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 191.
  117. ^ Birinci Dünya Harbinde Türk Harbi, Sina-Filistin Cephesi : IVncü Cilt 2nci Kısım. Ankara: T.C. Genelkurmay Başkanlığı, 1986 [=The Turkish War During First World War (The Sinai-Palestine Front), Vol. IV. Ankara: Turkish General Staff Command, 1986
  118. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, p. 65.
  119. ^ a b Lindenberg, 1926, p. 15.
  120. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 194-198.
  121. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Suriye, pp. 50, 65.
  122. ^ a b Collins & Steichele, 2000, pp. 201-202.
  123. ^ Collins & Steichele, 2000, p. 202.
  124. ^ Birken, 2007, Vol. Beyrut, pp. 29-30, 37.
Sources
  • Abuljebain, Nader K. (2001). Palestinian history in postage stamps = تاريخ فلسطين في طوابع البري. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies/Welfare Association.
  • Birken, Andreas (2003). Die Poststempel = The postmarks. Volumes Beirut and Suriye. Hamburg: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Osmanisches Reich/Türkei, ©2007. (CD-ROM)
  • Coles, John H. and Howard E. Walker (1987). Postal cancellations of the Ottoman Empire. Part 2: the lost territories in Africa and Asia. London & Bournemouth: Christie's Robson Lowe. ISBN 0-85397-426-8.
  • Collins, Norman J. and Anton Steichele (2000). The Ottoman post and telegraph offices in Palestine and Sinai. London: Sahara. ISBN 1-903022-06-1.
  • Levy, Thomas E. (1995). The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land. Continuum. ISBN 0-7185-1388-6.
  • Lindenberg, Paul P. (1926). Das Postwesen Palästinas vor der britischen Besetzung. Vienna: Die Postmarke.