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Samsun


Postal and telegraph networks    EN

Author: ERLER ΜΕΗΜΕΤ YAVUZ
Postal network EN
Telegraph network

*Professor Dr., 19 Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey.

During the Crimean War, the French and British allies of the Ottoman Empire entered into the Black Sea region, based in Istanbul. The introduction of advanced technologies, such as the telegraph, was one of the benefits of the war during 1853-1856. Telegraph stations were firstly introduced to the Ottomans by their allies for military purposes, because of the war with Russia. This service was installed in Samsun in 1864. The huge Circassian migrant flow into the Canik district in the same year made labor force, needed for the telegraph line network, abundant. Therefore, telegraph pillars were erected in the region, initially in places where the Circassians settled. The aim and also the necessity was to connect the local merchants to inner lands, as far as Kayseri and overseas to Istanbul, in order to serve commercial activities. The pine trees, needed for the copper wires, were cut down from the forests of Samsun and even more were brought from the vast forests of Sinop. In 1867, the first communication line was set up between Samsun and Sinop. As an extension to that telegraph line, a telegraph station was built in Bafra. In the following year, the telegraph line extended towards Trabzon, with the construction of two telegraph stations, one each in Unye and Charshamba. The local tradesmen too contributed to cover the cost of the telegraph pillars between Trabzon and Samsun. However, regular communication was quite often interrupted due to weather conditions, the rusting of the copper lines and the toppling of the telegraph pillars, especially in the areas between Samsun and Sinop. The local authorities were not efficient to take care of the telegraphic line between Sinop and Samsun; hence they often neglected to repair the ruined service.

The line between Trabzon and Samsun functioned well because of the pressure of the merchants who benefited from the trade[1]. Telegraph stations were built in the sub-districts of Samsun so that the city’s merchants could turn their goods into a profitable bargain. In 1869, these telegraph stations were located in the sub-districts of Unye, Bafra and Charshamba[2]. A few years later, in 1879, even more stations were built in Samsun’s sub-districts, allowing the farmers and the merchants to promote their products in a short period of time. Such stations were built in Terme, Niksar and Alacham[3]. Particularly after 1888, the volume of foreign correspondence increased so much, because of the commercial activities, that cryptographer Vasiliyadis Efendi was appointed as a registrar[4]. The Ottoman provincial annuals offer useful information of the telegraph stations along with their managers as listed below[5]:

Name of telegraph station

Managers’ name and duration of occupation in charge.

Samsun Telegraph headquarter

Tahsin Bey

1869-1878

Agah Efendi

1879-1887

Hafız Nazif Efendi

1888-1891

Raif Efendi

1892-1901

Fadıl Efendi

1902-1903

Cevri Efendi

1904

Fazıl Efendi

1904

Unye Telegraph station

Feyzi Efendi

1869

Ali Mukbil Efendi

1870

Artin Efendi

1872

Sait Bey

1879

Nail Efendi

1881

Bafra Telegraph station

Zuhdi Efendi

1869

Tahir Efendi

1870-

İshak Efendi

1872

Baha Efendi

1879

Mehmet Sadık Efendi

1892

Charshamba Telegraph station

Zeki Efendi

1869

Ahmet Sadık Efendi

1870-1878

Nail Efendi

1979

Hilmi Efendi

1881

Hasan Rushti Efendi

1892

Niksar Telegraph station

İsmail Efendi

1879

Terme Telegraph station

Kazım Efendi

1892

Alacham Telegraph station

Ziya Efendi

1881

 


[1] Mehmet Yavuz Erler, “Karadenizde Avrupai Bir Kent: Samsun (1865-1875)”, Karadeniz Tarihi Sempozyumu, Karadeniz Teknik Üniversitesi Yayınları, Vol.I, Trabzon 2007, p. 549.

[2] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi, 1869, p.131-133.

[3] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi, 1879,

[4] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi, 1888, p.529.

[5] Trabzon Vilayet Salnameleri, enlisted years, referred in the Schedule.


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