A 168-Year-Old İnstitution
Although communications are largely conducted via electronic media today, the Turkish postal service has been on the job since 23 October 1840..
Until very recently communications between people were largely realized by the unsung heroes of the world’s postal services. Lovers penned letters burning with passion, kids sent letters to their friends, holiday greetings came from faraway relatives, soldiers wrote yearning letters home. Although digital and electronic communications predominate today, the postal service is still an inseparable part of our lives.
The development of industrial society since the beginning of the 19th century, the growth of big cities and the international relations that came in their wake made it imperative that the Ottoman Empire, which had previously lacked a regular postal service, keep pace with the conditions of the day and establish one. The modernization efforts that took off in the Empire following the Imperial Rescript of Gülhane in 1839 cleared the stage for the establishment of modern institutions at European standards. A year after the Rescript was issued, the first postal service went into operation on 23 October 1840.
The Ottomans placed importance on their postal service. A government ministry was created to oversee it, and various postal routes were set up. Starting in 1855 a telegraph service was added as well. The widening network of postal routes eventually included service to destinations as far away as Baghdad and the towns of Serbia. In time agreements were concluded with the European countries as well, making it possible for post to be sent outside the country. Renamed the Post Telephone Telegraph, PTT for short, after the founding of the Turkish Republic, the postal service today remains an entrenched institution with roots going far back.