Military attaché to Kabul - Our Passports
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  • Military attaché to Kabul
  • WW2 special passport for Afghanistan.
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  • WW2 special passport for Afghanistan.
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  • WW2 special passport for Afghanistan.
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Military attaché to Kabul


WW2 rarity – special passport for Afghanistan.


We are all familiar with the various official passports and travel documents that were issued to be used in Europe during the war and more when it comes to German or Allied issued samples. But we must not forget that other nations issued such papers themselves and also to more exotic or “distant” locations as well. These are the ones that need more coverage and we, as fellow historians and collectors, need to shed more light to the rarer collectibles, when found.


The sample in this article falls under the category of an exotic location issued passport and should admit it is the first time for me to locate a war-time piece with such visas or stamps.


Turkish special-passport (Hizmet Pasaport) number 457 was issued to Colonel Ziya Kayan on December 2nd 1940 at Kabul, Afghanistan. The bearers wife and small daughter where included as well.


His profession is indicated as being a colonel and the more detailed information can be found at the back of the passport (Turkish issued passports would have the issuing authority, location, destination and purpose of the passport being issued all indicated at the BACK of the document). He is the “Chief of the Turkish Military Mission” to Afghanistan for the embassy at Kabul.


The Turkish and Afghan people have long lasting relations dating back many centuries, even back to the days of the Ottoman Empire, were Turkish officials had close relations with the Afghan leaders with frequent official and economic cooperative visits. The 20th Century even saw an increase of cooperation where the administration of Ahmad Jamal Pasha was modernizing the Afghan army in the east. Even marriage relations between the two dynastic and royal families where conceived, were the daughter of former King of Afghanistan was married to the former head of the Imperial Ottoman Dynasty. The countries have the longest of relations and mutual recognition and cooperation since official talks were held in Soviet Moscow in 1920.


Pre-war relations culminated with the Treaty of Saadabad, or the Saadabad Pact that was signed on July 8th 1937 between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. Though originally valid for 5 years it was automatically extended. It was a non-aggression pact that was officially registered in the League of Nations 1 one year later.

The document here is a testimony of the close military cooperation between the two countries, and as indicated inside the passport, it was a newly issued one to the original passport being made out a year earlier, during the time of the singing of the above mentioned pact.


The document was made out for the return of the head of the military mission, with his family, back home, and the first transit official visas where made out by the British legation in Kabul on December 6th 1940, with transit through India and  Iraq. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the capital also added its exit permits followed by a French special visa being issued on January 15th at Baghdad, after entering via the southern sea port of Basra a day earlier (need to note that leaving Afghanistan was done by traveling east into British Pakistan and crossing via the Khyber Pass on December 15th).


After obtaining the French visa allowing the holder to travel into Syria, he left the same day via the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing of Tel Kojac (Tell Kotchek on the French Syrian side on the 16th), then travelling briefly to the Syrian border point of Meidan Ekbis, crossing the border into İslahiye on the Turkish side on January 17th 1941.


I have added images of this well-preserved odd passport.



Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

Neil Kaplan
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