Saturday, February 6, 2010

Stamped Love

You wouldn't think stamps would have anything to do with love. Well, you'd be wrong.

Judging by the looks of the stamp on the left you probably would be lost even further. I mean what does an old stamp with what appears to be drawing of an even older building could possibly have anything to do with love. A lot. :)

As I usually do when listing this stamp I was researching it's significance. Why would they post a drawing of a building? I started my search with the information at the bottom that states it is the 750th anniversary of this buildings, well building. It says "Kayseri Sifahiyesi" on the stamp. Well that didn't get me far. So I searched for Sifahiye (old Turkish word for hospital, can be called hostel) in Kayseri (a city in Central Anatolia) and came up with only one Sifahiye, which was called Gevher Nesibe (I guess they have more than one name for this building). There weren't any major hostels in the area to suspect. And closer look of the Gevher Nesibe Sifahiyesi showed that it actually is the same building on the stamps image.

OK so who or what is Gevher Nesibe. Honestly I didn't know. So next step was to learn that. And it turns out:

The hostel was built in memory of Princess Gevher Nesibe the daughter of Kilij Arslan II and sister of Kaykhusraw I (both are Selcuk Emperors).

According to legend, Gevher Nesibe fell in love with a cavalry officer defending the palace of the Seljuk sultan at Konya. Her brother Kaykhusraw I opposed a marriage between his sister and an officer and sent the young man on a variety of dangerous assignments and campaigns, during the last of which he died. Overcome with grief at her lover's death, Gevher Nesibe Sultan fell ill with tuberculosis. The remorseful Kaykhusraw visited her on her deathbed, asked her forgiveness and offered to fulfill any last wish she had. Gevher Nesibe Sultan is reported to have replied: "I am very ill. There is no way for me to recover. None of these doctors can deliver me from my illness. I will eventually pass away. My wish is that you use my property to build a hospital in my honor. In this hospital, sick people should be treated with no charge and at the same time, incurable illnesses researched." Historical record shows that Kaykhusraw carried out his sister's last wish, beginning the hospital in Kayseri in 1204. The buildings were designed and built by an architect named Üstad Ömer.

The complex consists of a hospital and a school (medrese). The hospital was built between 1204 and 1206, and the medrese, whose construction started immediately after Gevher Nesibe's death in 1206, was finished in 1210. The stamp shows an airial view of the complex.

So you see the tragic love story caused the building of a hospital which ended up on a stamp 750 years later after not just that empire fell, but another rose and fell to be followed by a second rise of a country. So the story endures. And about 54 years after the printing of this stamp, I get to learn about Gevher Nesibe and her love for the brave soldier and her broken heart to share in my blog.

I guess love endures.

Happy Valentine's Day,


Friday, February 5, 2010

Added Value

I have been listing some stamps in my store at and doing a little research about the stamps as I usually do. As I stated before I am not an expert and I do think I should have something interesting to state about each stamp. But that's another subject. As I was doing my research I found out something I wasn't expecting.

I had several stamps where the price of the stamp was written in a strange manner. Well, at least in a manner I was not used to seing on stamps. They would have the amount written as an addition. Take a look at the picture on the left (the commemorative Turkish postage stamp for the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Red Crescent). See what I mean? 60+10 kuruş.

It turns out these kinds of stamps are called an added value stamp. At least that is the closest I can translate it as. What the added amount (like the +10 at the end) is about is a donation taken from people who buy the stamps in order to donate it to humanitarian causes. In this case the Turkish Postal Services was collecting the money to donate it to two separate humanitarian aid organizations: the Red Crescent and the Child Protection Services. The Red Crescent would get 75% of the collected amount (that is the added value, the +10 portion of the stamp price) and the Child Protection Services received the remaining 25%.

The Red Crescent is the organization that provides humanitarian aid in case of natural disasters and war. They provide temporary shelter, food, medical aid to victims. The Child Protection Services primarily takes care of orphans and in general helps children in need of help.

I discovered that Turkish Postal Services have been printing such stamps since 1958 twice a year. So not every stamp that came out had these added values. No wonder I have not noticed this before. They are not the most common. But even in 1981 they were printing such stamps (see the Turkish postage stamp printed in honor of 1981 International Year Of Disabled Persons declared as such by the United Nations.) I do suspect in this case however the probably donated the added value to help the disabled people rather than the other humanitarian causes. But that is just a guess on my part. Probably need me to look more into it.

In my search for more information I did discover another interesting factor relating to this subject. The first stamp they ever printed with added value was the Year of Katip Celebi Turkish Postage Stamp. The stamp was printed in September 4, 1958. And it turns out I have one of these stamps in my store:

It was fun to learn something new and discover the significance of one of the stamps I have.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Vintage Turkish Postage Stamp with drawing of USS Missouri

About the Stamp:

9 kurus stamp (in navy blue) printed probably a little after 1946 as a commemoration of United States Ship USS Missouri on her first voyage after World War II in an official visit to Istanbul bringing the remains of the first Turkish Embassador to United Stated Munir Ertegun to be burried in his homeland. Munir Ertegun was also the diplomat of the Ottoman Empire, a close aide to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during the Turkish Independence War, and a counselor in law to the Turkish committee in the Treaty of Lausanne. He was also the father of Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, the brothers who founded Atlantic Records and iconic figures of the American music industry.

USS Misouri on the other hand is the ship that was the last battleship built by the United States, and was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II. Later went on to fight in the Korean War (1950-1953). Nick named Mighty Mo or Big Mo. It was recommissioned and provided fire support during Operation Desert Storm. She was decommissioned in 1992, donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association and became a museum ship at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The date on the stamp shows 5 Nisan 1946 that is April 5, 1946. The very date USS Misouri arrived at Istanbul with Munir Ertegun's remains.

Printed by Guzel Sanatlar Matbaasi (Fine Arts Printpress) in Ankara as monochrome navy drawing on white background.

My Comments:

I picked this stamp to be my first one to blog about. Not only do I like the color, but the story behind the image really intrigued me. I did some research and learned things I never knew. And I guess that is the best part of collecting stamps. Images give a world of history. Every image used in a stamp is selected for a reason. Most have great cultural and historical significances. This one was just such example. I am glad to have seen this one. Hope so did you.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Welcome :-)

So I start a new blog about Stamps.

No, don't expect expert knowledge here. I am intending to share images of my stamps and maybe explain the significance of them to the extent of my knowledge. Share what I know and enjoy.

I'm always open to learning more. So at any point if you have information to share please feel free.