Woman in Green Dress, Mrs. Vicdan Moralı’s Portrait
İbrahim Çallı - Woman in Green Dress, Mrs. Vicdan Moralı’s Portrait

Roumenian Post, 1971, Maxicard

İbrahim Çallı (1882, Çal - 1960, İstanbul) was a Turkish painter.  

In this painting, Princess Vicdan Halim Morali (1897-1966 - great granddaughter of renegade Ottoman general and later Egypt's ruler, Muhammad Ali of Egypt) is sitting on an Edirne-style couch in her villa in Moda, Istanbul. On the Edirne-style coffee table to the left  of the couch, pink roses in a Beykoz blue opaline glass vase are seen. On the wall to the left is an Edirne style turban shelf with a porcelain plate. And on the right is a gilded frame with a sülüs style writing "And mâ tevfîki illâ billâ" (only with His help). Wearing a yellow silk shalvar with three gold embroidered green skirts, diamond earrings and the yellow flower emboidered headdress the princess draws immediate attention.

Although it is not related to the Turkish philately, this envelope is very interesting. The cover which was mailed as local post in Chicago on October 13, 1881, contains an advertisement for Ottoman Cahvey Company.

Founded in Chicago in 1875, the Ottoman Cahvey Company sold wholesale coffee, tea, spices, baking powder and plant extracts. In the following years, the company changed name after it was sold. Below you can see a notice found in a newspaper dated June 7, 1884.


Except postcards, all stamps with Arabic letters were removed from circulation after May 1, 1934. The last series of stamps published with Arabic letters was the three stamp series from 1929, on which Latin letters and values ​​were surcharged.

The first series in which the new Turkish alphabet was used is the 3rd London series, which went on the market in 1926. If we consider that the letter revolution which adopted Latin letters instead of Arabic was accepted into law on November 1, 1928, within three years, all Arabic letters were removed from new stamps and within 6 years the old stamps were completely removed from circulation.

1926 - 3rd London series - first series with Latin alphabet for Turkish language 

November 1, 1928 - Law changing Turkish alphabet from Arabic to Latin

1929 - Last series of stamps showing Arabic alphabet along with Latin for Turkish language

May 1, 1934 - All stamps with Arabic letters removed from circulation 

Thanks to Mr. Kamil Fatih Arlı, Mr. Hakan Yılmaz, Mr. Osman Leven Seral, Mr. Carl Catherman, the TRFILA and the Postman forums (both of these websites are not working anymore) a mystery that was haunting me for more than a year is solved. Couple of years ago I acquired this card because of the interesting cancellation on it. Soon after posting it on the TRFILA forum, I learned that postcard was prepared by M. Melissopoulos (his cachet is always on the postcard), a famous postcard trader from Constantinople. His "signature" was the special cancellation. After reviewing this cancellation Mr. Carl Catherman told me that a coin was used to create this cancellation. My interest was peaked; however, I could not find which coin was used even though I spent a lot of time going through many numismatic sites about Ottoman coinage.

Fruchtermann 1365

Recently, I saw a similar card posted by Mr. Hakan Yılmaz. Several posts later, I learned from Mr. Kamil Fatih Arlı that the "signature" cancellation was created using a copper 20 Para coin from Sultan Abdulmecid.

Many thanks to Mr. Arlı for providing the original picture.

20 Para

Uzay Togay. Starting this blog for anything and everything about Ottoman and Turkish Philately.