Postage stamps and postal history of Alaouites


Postage stamps and postal history of Alaouites

"See also :" Alawite State

Background

France occupied Syria in 1918 at the end of the First World War and received the Alawite Territory "aka" Alaouites as a mandate from the League of Nations on 2 September 1920. Initially it was an autonomous territory under French rule, but on 1 July 1922 it was incorporated into French Syria.

On 29 September 1923, it was declared a state with the port city of Latakia as its capital, and on 1 January 1925 was formally renamed the Alawite State.

On September 22, 1930, it was renamed the Sanjak of Latakia. The population at this time was 278,000.

On 5 December 1936 (effective in 1937) it was fully incorporated into Syria.

Postage Stamps

France never designed postage stamps for Alaouites. There was an initial period in which Syrian stamps were used, inevitably causing accounting difficulties between Alawite and Syrian postal services. In 1925, French stamps were overprinted "ALAOUITES" followed by a denomination in piastres (French stamps being denominated in francs) and this was followed by the same information in Arabic.

Later in 1925 and through 1930, similar overprints were used on stamps of Syria. Airmail overprints included the word "AVION" and after 1926 a picture of a rather primitive-looking monoplane.

Sources

* Stanley Gibbons Ltd: various catalogues
* [http://www.jl.sl.btinternet.co.uk/stampsite/home.html Encyclopaedia of Postal History]
* Stuart Rossiter & John Flower: "The Stamp Atlas"


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