Postage stamps and postal history of Syria
Syria, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. Modern Syria was created as a French mandate and attained independence in April 1946, as a parliamentary republic.
Early postal arrangements
Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire until the defeat of the Turks in the First World War and an extensive network of Turkish post offices operated in the region. A French post office operated between 1852 and 1914, and an Egyptian office at Latakia from 1870 to 1872.
Syria used the stamps of Turkey from 1883 until 1919.
French military occupation
Following the defeat of the Turks in September 1918, Syria came under French military occupation, being divided between a coastal area with a capital at Beirut, which subsequently became Lebanon, and the interior under the control of the Arabs with a capital at Damascus. Stamps of France were used between 1919 and 1922 overprinted T.E.O. (Territoires Ennemis Occupés) or O.M.F. (Occupation Militaire Francaise).
Egyptian Expeditionary Force
In 1920 Emir Faisal of the Hejaz organised an Arab Kingdom in central Syria in rebellion against French control. On 11 March 1920 Faisal was proclaimed King of Syria. During this period stamps of Turkey from 1913-1919 were overprinted in Damascus with the Arabic seal Al Hukuma Al Arabia 'Arab Government' and some of the stamps surcharged in Egyptian currency. After Faisal was proclaimed King, a set of stamps was issued by the Arabian Government of Syria, and one of the set, the 5 milliemes, pink, overprinted in Arabic with green ink, "In commemoration of the independence of Syria. Adar (March) 8th 1920." The overprinted Turkish provisionals continued in use for about two months and were used conjunctively with stamps of the E.E.F. and regular Syrian issues.
In July 1920 King Faisal was dethroned by the French and a mandate was granted to France by the League of Nations over the whole of Syria from 1923. Syria used the stamps of France, overprinted Syrie Grand Liban or Syrie between 1923 and 1924. From 1925 Syria had its own stamps marked Syrie.
From 1934 stamps marked Republique Syrienne were in use, changing later to just Syrie. These continued until the end of 1957.
United Arab Republic
Syrian Arab Republic
- Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue: Part 19 Middle East. 6th edition. London: Stanley Gibbons, 2005, pp.299-341. ISBN 0-85259-576-X
- Rossiter, Stuart & John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986, pp.218-219. ISBN 0-356-10862-7
- Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue: Part 19 Middle East. p.245.
- "The Stamps of Syria" in Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal, September 1927. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
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