Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Turkey 1914 Issue (Scott #254-70)

In January of 1914, the Ottoman Empire issued a beautiful, long set of scenes stamps (Scott #254-70), of which 15,000 of the high value (Scott #270), portraying Sultan Mohammed V, were issued. Scott '10 values the unused set at $ 784.25, and #270 at $ 550.00. The Porte was soon to conclude a suicidal alliance with Germany and mindlessly sacrifice about 800,000 soldiers and over 4 million civilians in World War I, which would also destroy the empire and lead to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.

I recommend purchase of either the complete set or the high value, and even examples of the high value with a cut cancellation, which can be had at a fraction of the cost of sound copies (Scott '10 CV= $25.00) , as long as the cut cancellation doesn't badly mutilate the stamp. The set is quite beautiful, and evokes nostalgia for a world forever lost, due to human arrogance and stupidity.

With a population of about 72 1/2 million, Turkey is perhaps the most culturally European of the Islamic nations, and a likely model for their modernization, economic development, and democratization. The country experienced rapid economic growth between 2002 and 2007, with GDP averaging 7.4%, but this slowed in 2008 to 5% and stalled in 2009 to 1%, due to the global financial crisis, from which the country is recovering. While traditional agriculture is still a pillar of the Turkish economy, it is becoming more dependent on industry. Key sectors include tourism, banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, the machine industry, automotive, and shipbuilding. It is likely that in the future, Turkey will benefit from serving as an economic and cultural nexus connecting Europe, the Near East, and the Turkic (formerly Soviet) nations of Central Asia.


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