Turkey : Second Middle East Regional Air Navigation Meeting


Issue date: 17/10/1950



17th century bird‑flight of Hezârfen Ahmet Çelebi (see footnote *).



Biplane over Taurus mountains.


Airport entry and Douglas DC‑3 over Istanbul.






Missing blue print.


Freak: misperforation - Imperforate vertically between pair.

Sheets of 25 stamps.





Freak: Misperforation - Imperforate vertically between stamp and sheet-margin.


Freak: Misperforation. Bisected vertically.


Freak: Misperforation - Imperforate vertically between stamp and sheet-margin.


Freak: Misperforation – Double perforation pair.


Freak: Misperforation - Imperforate vertically between pair.


Set of three stamps. Freak: Ink smears and misperforation; no vertical perforations.


Freak: misperforation. Missing perforations on the right-side (straight edge).


Freak: misperforation - Imperforate horizontally between pair.




Imperf Pairs.



Blocks of four stamps with first day postmark.


First Day Cover – The flying man in Istanbul referring to Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi.

Note that the aircraft and military ship (in black-blue) in the cachet may have been overprinted after the issue of the cover. It refers to the North Atlantic Ocean Stations (NAOS) Agreement concluded in 1946 by ICAO by which wartime Atlantic Ocean weather ship stations would be retained at strategic points across the North Atlantic to cover constant meteorological information, navigational aids, search and rescue facilities for aviation and shipping. See more information of this Joint Support action at the following link: The North Atlantic Ocean Stations Agreement.

Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi, inspired by the studies of Leonardo da Vinci and with some corrections and balancing adjustments derived from studying the eagle in flight, finally gave shape to his wing apparatus, after nine experimental attempts. According to a story recorded by the historian and chronicler Evliyâ Çelebi in the 17th century, Hezârfen Çelebi (1609-1640) glided in 1638 with artificial wings from the top of the 183-foot tall Galata Tower in Istanbul and managed to fly over the Bosphorus, landing successfully on the Doğancılar Square in Üsküdar. As with many others possessing great knowledge, Evliyâ Çelebi gave Ahmed Çelebi the title Hezârfen, meaning “a thousand sciences” (polymath). Sultan Murad IV rewarded Ahmed Çelebi with a purse of gold, but he was later exiled to Algeria, where he died.


Background: It is to be noted that Turkey was actually the first country to print stamps to honor ICAO. The Second Middle East Regional Air Navigation (MERAN) Meeting was convened by ICAO at the Yildiz Palace, Istanbul, Turkey, from 17 October to 7 November 1950; Representatives of sixteen Member States, one non-Contracting State and four international organizations attended this Meeting.

On the stamps, the Turkish inscription Milletlerarasi Sivil Havacilik Kongresi means International Civil Aviation Congress.

It is to be noted that many freaks (i.e. varieties such as misperforations or missing perforations or ink smears) of these stamps can be found (see samples here-above).

More background information on this issue can be found by clicking on: 1950 : Istanbul Regional air navigation meeting, which also displays all the covers related to this issue.


(*) Hezârfen Ahmet Çelebi (1609-1640) is an Ottoman inventor considered one of the first legendary pioneers of aviation. In 1632, he made wings to glide and jumped from the Galata Tower in Istanbul and flew to Üsküdar on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, using wings he had made himself. This event created a great sensation; Sultan Murad IV was delighted and wanted to reward him, but the religious leaders and councilors of the palace made him change his mind. The title "Hezârfen" given by the writer Evliyâ Çelebi to Ahmet Çelebi, means a thousand sciences.