Postal History


This article was published by W. A. S. Westoby in the book "The Adhesive Postage-Stamps of Europe Vol. II" on pages 412-13. The book was published in London in the year 1900.

These are called Katchak, or contraband stamps, and the reason of their use is thus described. Male and female servants at Constantinople generally come from the provinces or the Greek islands of the Archipelago, and frequently bring letters for their friends. If these are discovered at the Custom House they are taken to the post-office, where double postage is charged on the letter, half of which goes to the detector, and the other half to the post-office. Stamps for the double rate are then affixed, and stamped with a hand-stamp of one of the above types, which reads "KATCHAK POSTA," denoting ''Smuggled Post." The first type belonged to the Constantinople Post-Office, and was used on smuggled letters from the interior only. It was withdrawn in 1877 and replaced by Type II., which was used till 1880, when Type I. was again brought into use.