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Toughra Issue

The first stamps of Ottoman Empire (currently Republic of Turkey) that has the Tughra design has been printed or let’s say lithographed at the end of 1862. 2 & 5 para were the first stamps to be printed. These values were not issued until 1864.

The second issues which has the value of 20 para, 1 kurush, 2 kurush & 5 kurush values has been printed in January 1863. The design of these stamps were transferred to the lithographic stone. The sheet (or plate) was designed as each alternate row of stamps in the sheets was inverted producing vertical tete-beche pairs. These “second issue” stamps were printed black on what they called “thin pelure paper” and dyed after with brush or other kind of painting materials. Same values were also printed on “thick paper”.

The main design was the Tughra monogram which was the signature of the Sultan at that time period together with the crescent right below it. Because of the Tughra monogram in the design. These stamps are called “Toughra Stamps”

After the sheets were printed they were sent to the Ministry of Finance and there a control band was applied. The control band is a repetition of the words “Devlet-I Aliyye Nezaret-i Maliye” which means “Ministry of Greates (Sublime) Finance”.

Sheets or stamps with control bands also exist. But they had no franking power and were recognized as incomplete stamps.