(Levant)                
      The foreign post offices in the Ottoman Empire    
     
           
    The seed for the creation of these post offices was  the preference of having    
    private deliveries made by the embassies(Consular offices).The Austrian and Russian    
     embassies managed having private postmen protected by Ottoman soldiers within    
    the boundaries of the territory (1721).When these services became regular, the    
    British and German embassies started using these facilities too  (1729).    
    The legal permission to operate these services were given to Egypt in 1720 and    
    for Austria in 1739.This legalization was achived by Russia in 1783 , by France in 1812,    
    by Great Britain in 1832, by Greece in 1834 , by Germany in 1870 , by Italy in 1908.    
    The attempt of operating Roumanian office in 1896 proved to be a failure.    
    The operation of these offices created an annual loss of 13 mi.Francs.Beside this loss    
    it was a loss of prestige for the Ottoman government which insisted in the abolition of    
    these privilages.The only  success was in 1881 when the operation of the Egyptian,Greek    
    and Italian post was terminated.Following efforts  in 1895 and  in 1901 with the commencement  
    of operation of Salonica port had no positive conclusions.On the contrary the continous  
    pressure by the Italian government succeeded in their operation in 1908.The continous  
    efforts to make Ottoman Postal services more  competetive by using new and fast  routes    
    or by giving discounted rates for mails abroad was not sufficient to overhelm the operation  
    of the foreign offices which summed up to a total of 103 majorly located in Constantinople :  
    37 Austrian offices , 24 French , 20 Russian, 8 German , 9 Italian and 5 British.    
  Finally , as a result of a long diplomatic and political struggle , in 1-10-1914 the Ottoman government  
     managed to overcome with success all the difficulties and  closed all foreign post offices within the  
    Ottoman Empire's territory  until 1918 where most of them reopened.    
             
       
       
        Stamps of the AUSTRIAN post office      
           
        Stamps of the BRITISH  post office    
         
        Stamps of the FRENCH post office    
         
        Stamps of the GERMAN post office    
           
        Stamps of the ITALIAN post office    
           
        Stamps of the POLISH  post office    
           
        Stamps of the ROUMANIAN post office    
           
      Stamps of the RUSSIAN post office    
       
  by : Ioannis Stantzopoulos  
  * References : Pulhan Catalog  
  Stanley Gibbons  
  Yvert & Tellier  
  Michel