Veterans of stamp exchange
ANTALYA – Anadolu Agency
Stamp collectors, also known as philatelists, are still attending stamp exchange events every week with stamps they have been collecting since childhood.
The stamp enthusiasts, who attend the exchange events every Tuesday in the southern province of Antalya, swap their stamps in an auction where using money is forbidden. Antalya Philately Association President Mehmet Ceyhun Altın said the association, founded in 2007, actively maintains its presence with its 55 members.
Members gather together and swap stamps every week on Tuesday nights.
“We ceaselessly maintain this event, come rain or shine. Even if our numbers fall to 10 to 15 people during the summer, we never stop. We gather here and swap the extra stamps among ourselves. Since we do not see [philately] as a business, everyone simply gives away whatever they have extra. We pursue this as a hobby,” Altın said.
Stating that their members are from various professions including tourism, academia, medicine and the military, Altın also said the members of the association attend national stamp exhibitions, displayed periodically every year. The association conducts seminars on stamps and philately in schools and different institutions, and holds local exhibitions during special days and holidays.
Collecting stamps to prevent Alzheimer’s
Aygen Yılmaz, a philatelist and professor of pediatrics at Akdeniz University, said his interest in collecting stamps began when he was 11 and has continued ever since.
“I think we are lucky people as philatelists living in Antalya. We get the chance to speak about every subject by gathering with friends from different professions at the association. On the other hand, we get to develop our common hobby. Philately is both cheap and a hobby that helps people develop themselves, because every stamp has a story. Every stamp was printed for a reason. Stamp collectors are very sophisticated thanks to this,” he added.
“For me, the stamp auction is an escape from the burden of work. We deal with intense and serious stuff.
Our minds are too full. Stamp collection gives us the opportunity to clear our minds. I recommend it to everyone. It is important to have a hobby. Collecting stamps impede Alzheimer’s because constantly using your mind helps prevent the disease from growing,” Altın said.
20 million stamps in 38 years
Levent Aral, a retired colonel and the vice president of the philately association, has been collecting stamps for 38 years. Stating that he meets his stamp enthusiast friends to talk about how to develop their collections, Aral added, “We clear our minds by trading the extra stamps we have. Since I have gathered this collection over 38 years, I have a large collection. I particularly collect lighthouse, airport and tiger-themed stamps. I have around 20 million stamps in my collection.”