Sometimes philately can provide you with a mystery. Take this stamp for example. What kind of stamp is it, and what is the significance of the “Samos Turkey 1926” imprint?
Nowadays it is very handy that you can enlist the aid of a specialised association to help your investigation – in this case the Greece Stamp Club.
When looking at an auction site for police-related stamps, I came across these two blocks of stamps.
The inscription on the stamps reads: “Police Fee Revenues”. This gave me the suspicion that they were “police tax stamps”. I sent a scan to the Greece Stamp Club to see if they could enlighten me further. The answer came quickly: “They are tax stamps for police pensions from 1955(!). Never seen used. I have them too.”
The overprint is a piece of propaganda. I asked the stamps’vendors and some other Greeks for an explanation but received no reply. In 1912 Samos became a Greek region; So why “Samos Turkey 1926”, I do not know. On the stamps is in any case: a value, and the imprint as a proof of payment for infantrymen and military police.
The Island of Samos
Samos is a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey.
When I was on holiday in Turkey, I sailed past Samos. The island has a rich history. Over the years it was part of the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire, after which it became part of Greece in 1912 (why, then, on this stamp is Turkey imprinted, because in 1926 the Greeks and Turks were not on friendly terms).
The Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras, known for the Pythagorean Theorem (a2 + b2 = c2), was born on the island.
The town of Pythagorion in the south-east of the island is located on the coast, and named after him since 1955.
At least I now know quite a bit more about the auction site “Police Fee”stamps. In short: tax stamps from 1955, with the imprint 1926, from an island which in 1912 was Greek territory. But why the imprint Samos Turkey 1926? That remains a mystery. Can anyone help me?
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