Wednesday, February 10, 2010
In 1939, Turkey issued a set of stamps commemorating the completion of the Sivas to Erzerum link of the Ankara-Erzerum Railroad (Scott #829-32). 35,000 of this Transportation/ Railroad topical set were issued, and Scott '10 values it unused at $ 21.00.
With a population of about 72 1/2 million, Turkey is perhaps the most culturally European of the Islamic nations, and their probable model for modernization, economic development, and democratization. The country experienced rapid economic growth between 2002 and 2007, with GDP averaging 7.4%, but this slowed in 2008 to 5% and stalled in 2009 to 1%, due to the global financial crisis, from which the country is recovering. While traditional agriculture is still a pillar of the Turkish economy, it is becoming more dependent on industry in major cities. Key sectors include tourism, banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, the machine industry, automotive, and shipbuilding. It is likely that in the future, Turkey will benefit from serving as an economic and cultural nexus connecting Europe, the Near East, and the Turkic (formerly Soviet) nations of Central Asia.
Stamp collecting is growing in Turkey, and there are also many collectors of Turkish stamps in Europe and the U.S.. I recommend consideration of Turkish stamps and souvenir sheets with printings of 100,000 or fewer, especially if they have topical appeal.