Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born in Salonica (today in Greece) in 1881. He is renowned as the founder of the Republic of Turkey. In 1915, he emerged as a military hero in Dardanelles during the Gallipoli campaign and later became the leader of the Turkish national liberation struggle started in 1919. In 1923, as the creator of the new Republic of Turkey, Atatürk established a form of government that reflected the people’s wishes through the Parliament. Sweeping cultural and socio-political reforms took place. Between 1926 and 1930, legal changes led the way for Islamic religious laws to be abolished, and a secular system emerged. Atatürk initiated a program for economic development in Turkey, which consisted of agricultural expansion, industrial and technological advances. Determined not to stop there, Atatürk undertook the greatest challenge of all, a reform of the existing language. In 1928, he decided to abolish the Arabic script and incorporated the Latin alphabet with the Turkish. With this came the impetus to develop the education of the country’s citizens. Primary education was declared compulsory and great prominence was given to the education of women. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was President for 15 years, until he died in 1938, on November 10th. His achievements are a legacy to Turkey’s modern state, and he is considered a pioneer of national liberation. Rare Turkey Republic Passport
Here is a rare passport from the Turkish Republic, issued in 1927 to a woman born in 1889 (age 38) for traveling to Paris, France. The language in the passport is Turkish and French. There are several border and revenue stamps and some visas, including a French visa. The passport pictures show the woman with a possible disability in her right eye. A great document of Turkish passport history which is nowadays pretty rare to find, especially in such a fine condition. Rare Turkey Republic Passport
Update Jan 20, 2022: Many thanks to Kevin Shahrokhi who informed me today about the details of the passport content.
This woman is Armenian. She is only identified as “Madame Varter daughter of Kevork” (Kevork is a common Armenian male name). The passport was issued with the purpose of traveling to Aleppo and other foreign countries. Notice that her signature is in Armenian script and not either in Arabic or Latin script. The only stamps on these pages are for Aleppo and also an entry for Beirut. Both of these were part of the French Mandate that controlled an area that’s now Syria and Lebanon, and considered French territory, throughout the 1920s. The French visa issued by the Consulate General states that it is for travel to Aleppo (which is French territory). It also says she’s traveling alone.
During the years after the Armenian genocide, there was mass immigration of Armenians to present-day Syria and Lebanon. She’s traveling alone – may be no longer has family and trying to get the heck out of there. She has no doubt seen the genocide first hand. This is a very good find for a historic passport. Good job!
FAQ Passport History pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट
1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
Question? Contact me...
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