Stamps of 2023: Turkey (January 2023)

Jan. 26, 2023

Monumental Trees

On January 26, Posta ve Telgraf Teşkilatı (PTT) of Turkey released its first stamp issue of 2023. Titled “Monumental Trees”, the set honors two of the country’s heritage trees with a third featured on the first day cover. The stamps and cover were designed by Cüneyt Akın and printed digitally by PTT Matbaasi of Ankara in miniature sheets of five stamps of each design. They are denominated at 10 Turkish lira and measure 36 x 52 mm each. There were 100,000 copies of each design printed.

The first stamp features an Olive tree (Olea europaea) located in the town of Kırkağaç of Manisa Province in the Aegean region of Turkey. There is a bit of controversy surrounding the tree which was originally dated as 1,656 years old through the ring method. A Dutch researcher by the name of Ticia Verveer conducted carbon testing on the tree in 2016 and deduced that it dated back to the same year as the birth of Christ. This makes it the oldest olive tree in Turkey and speculation has surfaced that the Virgin Mary may have planted the seed herself for the birth of her son as she made her way to Ephesus. Registered as a monumental tree in 2013, it continues to be harvested by villagers and is said to produce four different types of olives. It is 9 meters tall with a trunk diameter of 115 centimeters; the diameter of the top is 25 meters.

A Stinking Juniper (Juniperus foetidissima) is the subject of the second stamp. Located in Yalvaç, a town and district of Isparta Province in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, the tree is 1100 years old with a trunk diameter of 264 centimeters, a height of 15 meters with the top having a diameter of 18 meters.

The cachet on the first day cover depicts a Wild Pear tree (Pyrus elaeagrifolia) found in Dilek Village, Taşköprü of Kastamonu Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey and fairly young at just 234 years old. This type of tree prefers dry habitat and elevations up to 1,700 meters (5,600 feet). It grows to a height of 10 meters (33 feet). The flowers are hermaphrodite. The species is highly resistant to drought and frost. The species was first described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1793.

There are 9,369 monumental trees registered in Turkey including four trees older than 2,000 years and 22 trees with an age above a millennium. The Environment and Urbanization Ministry has published the stories of 297 monumental trees on its website and has said that there are around 50 types of monumental trees in the country.

“Oriental planes, arceuthos drupaceas, cedrus libanis, walnut trees, gumwoods, Canary Island date palms, turpentine trees, northern hackberries, pines and oaks are common in the list of the monumental trees,” said the ministry.

“These trees are natural beauties that are bridges from the past to the future. Protecting these trees improves the bond to the roots in the youth and the love for the nature. It is very important to detect these monumental trees and keep them registered,” the ministry added.

One thought on “Stamps of 2023: Turkey (January 2023)

  1. Pingback: Stamps of 2023: Monthly Wrap-Up (January) | Mark Joseph Jochim

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