Stamp detective: Hatay 1939 stamp


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Hatay stamp 1939 Hatay stamp 1939
Our philatelic private eye spies an intriguing Hatay stamp that looks set to increase in value

Stamp dealers are very busy people and they don’t always have the time to reprice their stock, which might provide profitable buying opportunities for knowledgeable collectors.

Stamp prices go up and down depending on current collecting trends. One area which has quietly become quite popular in recent times is Hatay, a small republic which was independent for about a year before being incorporated in Turkey in 1939.

Hatay, on the Mediterranean coast, used to be known as Alexandrette when it was a district of Syria under French mandate after the First World War. With a mainly Turkish-speaking population, the people of Hatay certainly didn’t want to be ruled from Damascus.


The first issue of Hatay comprised 11 contemporary Turkish definitive stamps with a portrait of Turkish president Kemal Atatürk overprinted ‘HATAY DEVLETI’ and new values. It was released in 1939.

Finding a complete unmounted mint set appears to be rather difficult. Most dealers just offer single stamps and mostly the lower values from the set. Those who actually have the complete set in stock ask some £70 for it. Fine mounted mint sets sell for about 50% less.

Not that long ago this set was a lot cheaper. The 10 sant(ims) value with the currency unit given as ‘SENT’ rather than the correct ‘SANT’ is a rather scarce variety certainly worth looking for. The 25s and 50s values can be found with small numerals but these varieties are quite common but still interesting.

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