Hejaz Railway Revenue & Postage Stamps : Part I
Under Ottoman rule in the Empire (1904-18) and in Turkey (1920-22)

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This is a large and complex subject tied into the fate of the Ottoman Empire and the rapid, often short-lived changes during, and immediately after, wars. Our initial intention was to limit this 2-part article to the revenue stamps alone. However, after World War I, the ensuing turbulence gave rise to numerous revenue and postal surcharges and their story is more intelligibly told by taking an inclusive approach, especially as a few Hejaz Railway stamps may possibly have been put both to revenue and postal use. The lack of certainty evident in this last statement pervades these articles, particularly in the Part II territories.

What's in Part 1 ? :
Ottoman Hejaz Railway 1904 Issue

1. Ottoman Empire Revenues issued under the Ottomans.
2. Postal Issues (on Hejaz Rly revenues) of the Nationalist Government in Angora, the precursor of the Republic of Turkey.
3. Other revenues used in the post-Ottoman period in what is now Turkey.
4.
Unrelated to the Hejaz Railway : Treasury Tax stamps of 1923 (steam train).
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What's in Part 2 ? :
Ottoman Hejaz Railway 1904 Issue

1. Alaouites (revenues)
2. Alexandretta (revenues)
3. Grand Liban / Lebanon (revenues)
4. Greek Occupation (revenues)
5. Iraq (Mosul) (revenues and a postage stamp)
6. Italian Occupations (revenues)
7. Palestine (revenues)
8. Saudi Arabia, including Hejaz and Nejd. (revenues and postage stamps)
9. Syria (revenues)
10. Transjordan (revenues)

Click here for the Part II article (opens in a new tab).

We use green text for the catalogue-style listings of Revenue Stamps but, to help distinguish them from postage stamps,
Postage Stamps are not only printed in blue text but also framed, as shown here, within a blue box.

A very brief history of the Hejaz / Hicazi / Hedjaz Railway :
There is abundant literature on the Hejaz Railway itself, both in print and online, so only a brief summary is provided here.

The Hajj is an annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca (and usually Medina) which Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lifetime.

Until the turn of the 20th century, the journey by camel caravan from Syria, a common starting point for pilgrims, to Mecca was long, wearisome and hazardous, especially to health. Around 40 years after the idea of a railway from Damascus to Medina was first mooted, construction of the 1,050 mm gauge line, under German supervision, began in 1904 and work progressed rapidly with the railway opening throughout in 1908. It had a track length of 1320 kms and included a branch line to Haifa. In the first year it carried 30,000 passengers, a figure which rose tenfold within five years.

Unfortunately for the railway, it was also a valuable resource to the Ottoman military and in World War I it was the subject of numerous attacks by the Arab Army and, famously, the exploits of T.E.Lawrence. The damage was such that it was abandoned between Ma'an (today in Jordan) and Medina as early as 1917, although sections of the line continued to operate in Syria and Transjordan. Most of the northern half of the line remain operational for passenger and freight traffic in Syria and Jordan today. A new line was built in the late 1970s from south of Amman to the Red Sea port of Aqaba, almost exclusively for the export of phosphates.

For a pilgrims' railway which was fully-functional for less than one decade more than a century ago, the widespread general awareness of its existence, and often nostalgia for it, is remarkable, even allowing for the extra recognition that a major film can provide.

Hejaz Railway & Philately :
The Hejaz Railway is almost certainly unique in history for being fully built and debt free before a single ticket was even sold. The project was enthusiastically supported by the worldwide Muslim community who made donations to bring the line to fruition without the need to take out bank loans for its construction.

As well as the private donations, there was a contribution levied in the Ottoman Empire in the form of a special tax on official documents, a fee payable towards the building, and later the running costs, of the Hejaz Railway. The fee varied according to the nature of the document and the fee paid was usually receipted by use of Hejaz Railway revenue stamps. This fee was additional to the other taxes already payable on the document.

This article is ordered as follows (quick link to each group in the left panel):

1. Ottoman Empire : Hejaz Railway Revenues, 1904-1918.

2. National Government, Angora (Ankara) 1920-1923

3. Other : A small miscellany of related material.

4. Non-Hejaz Railway revenues showing a steam train : 1923 : Treasury Tax : Steam Train and Ox-drawn Plough .

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1. OTTOMAN EMPIRE : Hejaz Railway Revenues, 1904-1918
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1904 : Coat of Arms
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1904 Issue

Ottoman Hejaz Railway 1904 Issue

Ottoman Hejaz Railway 1904 Issue

The top scan shows a first issue on a document, the second scan various shades and the third scan an offset and a perfin.

The McDonald catalogue lists these stamps with brown lines on the back but, where we have encountered stamps of such appearance, this has proved to be streaks of brown gum, running vertically down the stamp. We have also seen one stamp with whiter, smooth gum but we do not list gum varieties.
These stamps have a green underprint of an Islamic pattern, for which we list two shades.

1904 : Central tughra in Orange-Brown : Main Design in Colour given :
1 pi. Deep Purple-Brown; underprint in greyish-green [ . ]
- ditto - Offset of tughra on the back [ . ]
- ditto - with Perfin 'BATTAL' [ . ]

1 pi. Brown-Purple; underprint in pale bluish-green [ . ]

1 pi. Bright Purple; underprint in pale bluish-green [ . ]
- ditto - with Perfin 'BATTAL' [ . ]

We are relying on notes which accompanied the stamps with a perfin for the translation. The note simply reads 'BATTAL (GOD)'
However, we have been unable to match the perfin to an Arabic translation of 'God' and this therefore needs verification.

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1905 : Train on Bridge & Railway Map :
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1905 Train on Bridge & Railway Map Issue
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1905 Steam Train on Bridge & Railway Map Issue Ottoman Empire Hejaz Railway 1905 Train on Bridge & Railway Map Issue
The top four stamps show shades of the 1905 issue. McDonald lists two shades, Violet-Brown & Red-Brown (both with Green underprint). We have chosen to list them as three shades; one could extend the list. Below these, we have shown three further examples of the 1905 issue of interest and, on the right above, a detail scan of the map of the Hejaz Railway present on both the 1905 and 1910 stamps.

Differentiating between 1905 & 1910 Designs :
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1905 Steam Locomotive on Bridge & Railway Map - Tughra of Hamid Turkey Hejaz Railway 1905 Steam Train : Tughra of Hamid

Left : 1905 Issue : Panel WITH inscription.
Right : 1910 Issue : Panel WITHOUT inscription.

1905 : Steam Train, Map etc. : Inscribed Panel to left of map : Green Underprint : Main Design in Colour given :
1 pi Grey-Brown (pale to deep) [ . ]
- ditto - Deep Reddish-Brown [ . ]
- ditto - Brown-Lilac [ . ]

1 pi Any Shade : Green Underprint Omitted [ . ]
1 pi Any Shade : Green Underprint standing out strongly [ . ]

1 pi Any Shade : BATTAL Perfin [ . ]

We have examined numerous examples of this stamp and the underprint is often very faint but we have never found one with absolutely no evidence of an underprint. For example, the first stamp in the second row of stamps above only has the very faintest of underprints. The second stamp in the second row of stamps has a (misplaced) very strong green underprint, which is uncommon and which we have listed as a variety above.
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IMPERFORATE :
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1905 Steam Train Tughra of Hamid IMPERF Turkey Hejaz Railway 1905 Steam Train Tughra of Hamid IMPERFORATE
Document (of 1905) displayed sideways to fit the page better. The stamp is not only imperforate but in a different colour - and clearly tied to the document. We are not aware of imperforate examples being listed in any catalogue..

1905 : IMPERFORATE :
1905 : 1 Pi : Pale Terracotta-Rose (with green underprint) IMPERFORATE - Rare [ . ]

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1910 : Train on Bridge & Railway Map : Blank Panel to left of map :
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1910 Steam Train Tughra of Resched

This issue also has a range of shades. McDonald again lists two; we have elected to list three.

1910 : Steam Train, Map etc. : BLANK Panel to left of map : NO Underprint :
1 pi Grey-Purple [ . ]
1 pi Drab [ . ]
1 pi Slate [ . ]

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1912 : Star & Crescent :
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1912 Arms Issue
Left-to-Right : Yellow-Brown Perf 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brown-Violet Perf 11 ½ . . Yellow-Brown Perf 11½ x 12

McDonald lists five stamps in this design, involving variations of colours and three possible perforations. In addition to the main colour, there is a background pattern of stars in a paler shade of the main colour.

1912 : Star & Crescent :
1 pi Yellow-Brown & Pale Yellow-Brown : Perf 12 [ . ]

1 pi Orange-Brown & Pale Yellow Brown : Perf 11½ x 12 [ . ]

1 pi Reddish-Purple & Pale Reddish-Purple : Perf 12 [ . ]
- ditto - Perf 11½ [ . ]
- ditto - Perf 11½ x 12 [ . ]

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1912 Arms Issue
Part of a 1912 document bearing a Reddish-Purple Hejaz Railway revenue of the above issue, Perf 11 ½.
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1912 (& 1914 with handstamp) : New Star & Crescent design in Red :
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1912 Arms Issue
Four Shades of this issue, left-to-right : Rose, Red, Carmine-Red, Reddish Vermilion, the last two stamps handstamped.

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1912 Arms Issue overprinted for Internal Audit 1914 Turkey Hejaz Railway 1914 Arms Issue with Examined overprint for internal audit
Above: Further examples : The handstamp in Blue (scarce) on piece with a non-railway revenue stamp and, alongside, a detail scan of the handstamp employed, this time in Black. It reads 'examined' and was applied to stamps that had been subject to an internal audit. Stamps of the next two issues can also be found with such a handstamp.

We only identify these stamps under three shades, the red and carmine-red being only marginally different. For simplification, in the second group below, we simply list the three colours of handstamp, using just a generic 'Red' to cover all the stamp shades. It is by no means certain that all shades are found with all three reported handstamp colours.

1912 : Arms in Red : Without Handstamp
1 pi Rose [ . ]
1 pi Red (to Carmine-Red) [ . ]
1 pi Reddish-Vermilion [ . ]

1914 : Arms in Red (various shades) : WITH Handstamp
1 pi (Red) : handstamp in VIOLET [ . ]
1 pi (Red) : handstamp in BLACK [ . ]
1 pi (Red) : handstamp in BLUE [ . ]

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1912 (& 1914 with handstamp) : New Star & Crescent design in Red :
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1912 Arms Issue
1912 - 1914 : Locomotive (in two designs) in Deep Bright Rose-Red, Red with a hint of scarlet, Pale Dull Rose (handstamped).

There are TWO designs of this locomotive type, either with the curved panel filled with text or the curved panel with a shorter inscription (as in the middle stamp in the scan above).

Describing the shades of these stamps is difficult. McDonald chose Red and Bright-Rose as the two colours he lists, though he was no doubt aware that the colours are not so simple. We have decided to adopt McDonald's colours for the purposes of our listing as these stamps are scarce and finding even two of each is typically a major challenge.

The stamps with the shorter text in the curved label are found with the audit mark 'examined' in Arabic in either Violet or Black. The right-hand stamp in the scan above has this boxed handstamp (in black). We have again followed McDonald's listing for the audit handstamps although the only example that we have seen ourselves is the one shown in the scan above, handstamp in black on a rose-coloured stamp.

1912: Locomotive : FULL-LENGTH text in Curved Panel :
2 pi Red [ . ]

2 pi Bright Rose [ . ]

1914 : Locomotive : SHORTER text in Curved Panel : Boxed Handstamps in Arabic :
2 pi Red [ . ]
- ditto - but with handstamped 'examined' in Violet [ . ]
- ditto - but with handstamped 'examined' in Black [ . ]

1914 : Locomotive : SHORTER text in Curved Panel : Boxed Handstamps in Arabic :
2 pi Bright Rose [ . ]
- ditto - but with handstamped 'examined' in Violet [ . ]
- ditto - but with handstamped 'examined' in Black [ . ]

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1914 : Steam Train & Camel :

This is a stamp familiar to most railway collectors as it was widely used as a revenue but also saw service as a postage stamp, both for the Nationalist Government of Turkey in 1921 and for Mosul in 1919 (Iraq under British Occupation). It was also adapted for use as emergency currency, as described later in this article. In Syria and Grand-Liban (Lebanon) under French occupation, it had further revenue usage and these are to be found in Part II of this 2-part article.

1914 : Steam Train & Camel ;
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1914 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp Issue
Left-to-right : 1. Normal . . . . 2. Stronger Print . . . . . 3. On Brownish Paper . . . . . . 4/5. With audit handstamp 'examined'

The stamps are usually on white paper but wartime economies appear to have affected paper supplies in Turkey, resulting in the use of lower quality paper. On this issue we have only seen the audit handstamp in Violet but we have assumed that it probably also exists in Black and have provisionally listed that.

1914 - : Steam Train & Camel
1 pi Green & Red (varying intensity of colours) [ . ]
- ditto - on poor quality Brownish Paper [ . ]

1 pi Green & Red handstamped in VIOLET in Arabic 'examined' [ . ]
- ditto - Handstamp in Black (assumed) [ . ]

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1914 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp Issue
Catalogues list this stamp with 'Green Omitted' and the scan above is the only example we have seen, here adjacent to a 'normal' example on a document.

1 pi in Red (green almost completely omitted) - RARE [ . ]
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Various Surcharges were applied to the Steam Train and Camel design in 1918, by which time the Ottoman Empire was contracting very quickly. Many of these surcharges were probably made outside today's Turkey either by Ottoman officials or Arab forces which had filled the vacuum left by the retreating Ottoman armies. One or two may even have served for postal use in the ensuing chaos.

We have never seen any of them on documents, which would shed some light on their place of issue and perhaps the issuing authority as well. Jakob von Uexkull lists these fascinating stamps in his excellent book 'The Early Postal History of Saudi Arabia', which includes the revenue stamps issued for the Hejaz Railway throughout the Ottoman period. We have little idea when (other than 1914 and later) or where they were used and therefore, for the present, list them here in Part I as general Ottoman Empire issues.

We have based our listing on Jakob's, as it is the most complete we have seen, and have also provided his numbering for ease of cross-referencing. These are his Numbers 9-16, except that we have moved #11, a re-purposing of the stamp as paper money, which we do not believe ever served with this surcharge as a Hejaz Railway revenue, into its own section near the foot of this article. We show stamps where we can, just the surcharge where none have yet surfaced.

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues

1918 Surcharges on 1 pi Steam Train & Camel design, Uexkull numbers given : Issuing Authority unconfirmed :
Uex.9 : 2 pi / 1 pi [ . ]
Uex.10 : 10 paras / 1 pi [ . ]
Uex.12 : 10 paras / 1 pi [ . ]
Uex.13 : 1 pi [ . ]

Uex.14 : 2 pi / 1 pi [ . ]
Uex.15 : 2 pi / 1 pi [ . ]
Uex.16 : 2 pi / 1 pi [ . ]
Uex.unlisted :5 pi (or paras?) / 1 pi [ . ]

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1918 : Hejaz Railway Revenues in New Design :
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues

1918 : Crescent & Star Design in Brown-Red & Blue :
1 pi as above but without any overprint (in McDonald, not seen by us) [ . ]

20 paras / 1 pi [ . ]
1 pi / 1 pi [ . ]
2 pi / 1 pi [ . ]
5 pi / 1 pi [ . ]

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1 pi surcharged 2 pi (c. 1918) :
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1921 National Government Angora Ankara / Anatolian Government postage stamps - overprints on revenues

Hejaz Railway Revenue Stamp with machine Overprint :
2 pi / 1 pi Brown-Red & Blue [ . ]

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2. National Government Angora (Ankara) 1920-1923

The Angora (Ankara) Government issues (also known as the Anatolian Government) :

The settlement of the First World War which handed control in much of Asia Minor to the allied victors fuelled a Turkish nationalist movement under Kemal Ataturk, based around Ankara. Led by Ataturk, the Nationalists drove the Greeks out of Asia Minor and extended their authority over the bulk of today's Turkey. The Sultanate was abolished and in 1923 Turkey was declared a republic, secular in nature.

During the interregnum between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, the Nationalist Government issued a number of stamps. Initially, in the case of all postal issues, the stamps were former Ottoman revenues, either overprinted or surcharged. New postal designs only appeared from late 1921 onwards.

There are also a few revenue surcharges on Hejaz Railway revenues which do not feature in catalogues of Ottoman revenue stamps and which, we consequently think, belong here with the issues of the new regime. They can be found at the foot of this section.

There is just one basic postage stamp in the Train & Camel design but a myriad of errors and varieties on the surcharges. The Arabic letters in the overprint are generally quite weak and there are numerous damaged and missing segments of text. We do not attempt to list any of these, other than an SG-footnoted transposition of letters. The Arabic numerals (reading 1337) are generally in a heavier font and better defined and errors stand out more obviously. We list the most important of these.

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1917/18 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues
Normal (Typographed) Opt. . . . . . . . . Overprint Double . . . . . . . Overprint Sideways (up) . . . .. . Handstamped (Rare) Turkey Hejaz Railway 1917/18 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues
Left : Overprint Inverted (ex Mayo Collection, Rare) . . . Right : Overprint shift to left (not included in catalogue-style listing).

1921 : 1 pi Steam Train & Camel with two-line overprint in Arabic reading 'Ottoman Posts / 1337 :
1 pi HANDSTAMPED Overprint (SG A57 var.; Mi.738H) [ . ]


1 pi Typographed Overprint (SG A57; Mi.738) [ . ]
1 pi Overprint DOUBLE (typo) [ . ]
1 pi Overprint SIDEWAYS (typo) [ . ]
1 pi Overprint INVERTED (typo) [ . ]


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Turkey Hejaz Railway 1917/18 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues
We have been informed, but it requires verification, that the blue arrows point to the correct spelling in Arabic of 'Osmanil' on the left-hand stamp and to the error 'Osmanli' on the right-hand stamp.

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1917/18 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1917/18 Steam Train & Camel revenue stamp surcharged issues
Stamp 1 : Normal (1337) . . Stamp 2 : Date 2337 . . . Stamp 3 : Date 1237 . . . . Stamp 4 : 1331 . . . . . . Stamp 5 : 1327

Typesetting Varieties on 1 piastre Steam Train & Camel : Machine Overprints Only :
1 pi Osmanil for Osmanli [ . ]

1 pi Date 2337 for 1337 [ . ]
1 pi Date 1237 for 1337 [ . ]
1 pi Date 13 7 for 1337 (sometimes also 13.7, a small dot suggesting the Arabic 1307, see Note A) [ . ]
1 pi Date 1331 for 1337 [ . ] (possibly not a constant variety)
1 pi Date 1327 for 1337 [ . ]

Note A : The single stamp in the next group of scans below shows the '13 7' variety but on SG A59.

The Crescent & Star revenue stamps of 1918 were used to produce five postage stamps, with the same postal overprint as above. Two of these stamps additonally have a surcharged figure of value.

We are fortunate in having a complete sheet/100 (10 x 10) of the 1 piastre (SG A59) for an overprint study. There are numerous varieties on the original revenue overprints but we have limited our listings to the two-line postal surcharge. We believe the same setting was used for all values including the Steam Train & Camel design (SG A57 listed in the previous blue-framed box). However, the '1331' variety was not present on the full sheet of SG A59 that we examined.

We found the main varieties in the following positions on the sheet :

Row 2,6 (Posn. 16) : 2337 for 1337
Row 3,1 (Posn. 21) : Postal Overprint omitted ***
Row 4,9 (Posn. 39) : 1327 for 1337
Row 5,9 (Posn. 49) : 13 7, maybe 13.7 (the small dot making 1307) for 1337
Row 6.7 (Posn. 57) : simiar to Row 5,9 above [ . ]
Row 10,10 (Posn. 100) : 13 7 for 1337 (completely blank space) [ . ]

As mentioned, we could not find the 1331 variety that we listed for SG A57 and there must therefore be doubt as to whether this is a constant typestting variety on SG A57 or due to poor printing of a few sheets. We therefore do not list the 1331 variety for these other values, although it may perhaps exist on some of them. Our very poor reading of Arabic hinders us from spotting the location on the study sheet of the OSMANIL variety. There is another variety, footnoted in SG, an inverted '1' in '1337' but we have not been able to recognize this in our study sheet and, for the present, do not list it.

*** Only confirmed on the 1 piastre (SG A59). It needs, of course, to be in pair with a stamp bearing the postal overprint in order to distinguish it from the 1 pi revenue stamp. As we have no information on other values, we have only listed the variety for this one stamp.

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1921 National Government Angora Ankara / Anatolian Government postage stamps - overprints on revenues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1921 National Government Angora Ankara / Anatolian Government postage stamps - overprints on revenues
Left : SG A59 ERROR : One stamp without postal surcharge . . . . Right: The 13 7 variety (from Position 100). Other positions in the sheet are sometimes found with a random ink dot in the same space, giving an appearance similar to Arabic 1307

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues
Above: Repeated from higher up : Detail of the revenue surcharges for SG A58, A59, A61, A62, full stamps shown below.

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1921 National Government Angora Ankara / Anatolian Government postage stamps - overprints on revenues

1921 : Postage : Machine-overprinted (except where stated) on 1918 Revenues, stamps in Brown-Red & Blue :

SG A58 : Mi. 739 :
20 para / 1 pi [ . ]

20 para / 1 pi : Osmanil for Osmanli [ . ]

20 para / 1 pi : Date 2337 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1237 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 13 7, maybe 13.7 (the small dot making 1307) for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1327 for 1337 [ . ]


Handstamped : Mi. 739H :
20 para / 1 pi [ . ] Rare

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SG A59 : Mi. 740 :
1 pi [ . ]
- ditto - Pair, one without postal overprint (Row 3,1; Posn. 21) [ . ]
RARE

1 pi : Osmanil for Osmanli [ . ]

1 pi : Date 2337 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1237 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 13 7, maybe 13.7 (the small dot making 1307) for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1327 for 1337 [ . ]


Handstamped : Mi. 740H :
1 pi [ . ] Rare

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SG A60 : Mi. 742 :
1 pi / 1 pi [ . ]

1 pi / 1 pi : Osmanil for Osmanli [ . ]

1 pi / 1 pi : Date 2337 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1237 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 13 7, maybe 13.7 (the small dot making 1307) for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1327 for 1337 [ . ]


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SG A61 : Mi. 743 :
2 pi / 1 pi [ . ]

2 pi / 1 pi : Osmanil for Osmanli [ . ]

2 pi / 1 pi : Date 2337 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1237 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 13 7, maybe 13.7 (the small dot making 1307) for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1327 for 1337 [ . ]

Note : For stamps with either the Arabic '2' or the postal overprint applied by handstamp, see the following 'blue box'.

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenue stamp surcharged issues

SG A62 : Mi. 741 :
5 pi / 1 pi [ . ]
- ditto - Bisected (on piece) [ . ]
5 pi / 1 pi : Osmanil for Osmanli [ . ]

5 pi / 1 pi : Date 2337 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1237 for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 13 7, maybe 13.7 (the small dot making 1307) for 1337 [ . ]
- ditto - Date 1327 for 1337 [ . ]


Handstamped : Mi. 741H :
5 pi/ 1 pi [ . ] Rare

These next two Postage Stamps are both Rare and often mis-identified. Both are listed in Michel.

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1921 National Government Angora Ankara / Anatolian Government postage stamps - overprints on revenues
Left Stamp : Postal Overprint is a Handstamp; all the revenue surcharge including the Arabic '2' is by machine. The date on this stamp is '1336' in Arabic, the Arabic '6' defective in this example (extra 'arm' on the right).
Right Stamp : Only the Arabic '2' of the revenue surcharge is a Handstamp; the rest is all machine-overprinted. Date 1337.

c.1921 : With Postal Overprint (date 1336) by Handstamp, revenue overprint and large Arabic '2' machine-overprinted:
2 pi / 1 pi Brown-Red & Blue (Mi. 743H II)[ . ]

c.1921 : With everything Machine-Overprinted (date 1337) except the Arabic '2' which is a Handstamp.
2 pi / 1 pi Brown-Red & Blue (Mi. 743H) [ . ]
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c. 1920 : New Revenue Surcharges:
Turkey Hejaz Railway 1920s  Anatolian Angora National Government overprints on revenues

Based on the first fragment below with the stamps used in Galata (across the Bosphorus, opposite Istanbul) in September 1922, we are reasonably confident that these stamps are Anatolian (Angora) Government issues. The final stamp in the scan is a variety of the 5 piastres.

Additionally, we have seen two references to stamps surcharged 10 piastres, but without illustrations, and we do not know whether the two references relate to the same stamp that we have not seen, nor do we know whether such a stamp (or stamps) belong to this series at all. Information on any 10 Piastres surcharge on the 1 pi Brown-Red & Blue, rather than on the Steam Train & Camel design, would be welcome.

1918 : Surcharges including the word 'kiymeti' (in Arabic) applied diagonally upwards (meaning 'value') :
20 pa / 1 pi Brown-Red & Blue [ . ]
1 pi / 1 pi Brown-Red & Blue [ . ]
2 pi / 1 pi Brown-Red & Blue [ . ]
5 pi / 1 pi Brown-Red & Blue [ . ]
- ditto - Thick Vertical Bar at end of bottom line of surcharge [ . ]

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenues on a document last Ottoman Empire issue - overprints on revenues

Turkey Hejaz Railway 1918 revenues on a document last Ottoman Empire issue - overprints on revenues
Parts of two documents, the top one with a 2 pi revenue, the bottom fragment with a 5 pi and 1 pi.
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3. Other Ottoman-Issue Hejaz Railway stamps.
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Hejaz Railway revenue tax stamp, re-purposed as a Cigarette Tax stamp :
Turkey Hejaz Railway reperforated stamps used as paper currency

We only know of this stamp through the listing in McDonald, whose scan and information is provided here.

1917 : Cigarette Tax : Hejaz Railway Steam Train & Camel design with boxed surcharge :
5 pa / 1 pi Green & Red (on low quality paper) [ . ]
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Ottoman Empire: CILICIA (Adana) : c.1917-1919 ? :
Turkey Hejaz Railway Cilicie Adana

This Hejaz Railway stamp, inscribed 'Hicaz Demiyolu menfaatine', is curious. It is, so far as we know, unlisted. The Hejaz Railway surcharge is on an Ottoman Cigarette Paper revenue stamp, which is mostly associated with Cilicia, where the French Military authorities surcharged these stamps extensively for postal use around 1919. We know of no other use of this stamp for the Hejaz Railway and the example shown is indeed used in Adana (Cilicie) which suggests that it could well have been a local issue dating from shortly after the end of World War I.

c.1918 Cilicie (Adana) : Hejaz Railway Revenue :
2 pi (or possibly 2 paras?) / 5 pa Red Cigarette Paper revenue [ . ]
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Hejaz Railway Revenues used as Paper Currency
Turkey Hejaz Railway reperforated stamps used as paper currency

In 1917, during a shortage of low value currency, sheets of the 1914 Hejaz Railway revenue stamps were surcharged 10 paras. The stamps were then affixed to relatively thin paper in view of the intended purpose and then reperforated to permit easy separation. They then served as 10 para paper money. In our scan, the additional perforations are very evident.

10 para / 1 pi Steam Train & Camel revenue stamps, re-purposed as Paper Money [ . ]

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4. TREASURY TAX revenue stamps, 1923.

These do not really belong in this article but we include them as we have no plans to mention them elsewhere in other articles. These Treasury Tax revenues are unrelated to the Hejaz Railway but the design, common to all 14 values, shows a steam train on a viaduct. Generally, they are not encountered mint but we are able to show a presentation card bearing a complete set :

Turkey Treasury Tax revenue stamps of 1923, steam train on viaduct

Turkey Treasury Tax revenue stamps of 1923, steam train and ox-drawn plough Turkey Treasury Tax revenue stamps of 1923, steam train on viaduct -locomotive detail

These stamps are known in three perforations, Perf 12, Perf 13½, Perf 13½ x 12. It is unclear whether they all exist in all these perforations. The Perf 12 appears to be the commonest and the 5 paras and 40g appear to be amongst the scarcer stamps, but these observations are based on only a small sample.

1923 : Treasury Tax : Steam Train and Ox-drawn Plough
5 paras Orange [ . ]
10 paras Blue-Green [ . ]
1g Dark Sepia-Brown [ . ]
- ditto - Black [ . ] (only one example seen, used) [ . ]
1½g Violet-Blue ( pale to deep) [ . ]
2g Pale Chestnut [ . ]
3g Dull Mauve [ . ]
5g Emerald-Green [ . ]
6g Bright Apple-Green [ . ]
- ditto - Green [ . ]
10g Violet-Brown
20g Olive-Brown [ . ]
40g Pale Yellow [ . ]
50g Olive [ . ]
100g Deepish Blue [ . ]
- ditto - Milky Blue [ . ]
500g Rose-Red (shades) [ . ]

Proof or Colour Trial on poor quality ungummed brownish paper, Imperforate.
1½g Bright Violet (scan below) [ . ]

Turkey Treasury Tax revenue stamps of 1923, steam train on viaduct -locomotive detail Turkey Treasury Tax revenue stamps of 1923, steam train on viaduct -locomotive detail
Two 3g Treasury Tax revenue stamps on a document and, right, the proof / colour trial listed above.

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Ottoman Public Debt Adminstration (O.P.D.A.) / Administration de Dette Publique Ottomane (A.D.P.O.) . .
. . Debito Pubblico Ottomana / ADPO in Arabic image / Osmanlı Kamu Borç İdaresi


In the background to all revenue taxes during the period of Hejaz Railway stamps was an international agreement for the repayment of a massive debt of the Ottoman Empire. This is not usually evident on documents issued under Ottoman rule but becomes very apparent in those territories lost during the wars of 1912-1918 and placed under the administration of occupying powers thereafter. The O.P.D.A. is described in detail in Part II of this 2-part study (link in left panel).

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Palestine Hejaz Railway Revenue Stamps First Series Imperf
End Piece : 1920 : Part of a document processed by the Dutch Consulate in Constantinople on behalf of the British.

To see Part II of this article, there is a direct link in the left panel. It is also accessible via the Index Page to all Railway Articles.

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