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Does the following address sound idiomatic to you:

13 – Fifth street - Independence Avenue – Apt 8 - 4th floor

Istanbul – Turkey – (Zip code)

marked as duplicate by user6951, ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq, Em1, user3169, Lucian Sava Jan 18 '15 at 22:11

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    How are Americans supposed to know how to address a location in Istanbul? And what do you mean by "address"? To refer to a location, give directions to a location, or address a letter to a location? – user6951 Jan 18 '15 at 13:05
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    "Zip codes" were started by the US Postal Service in the 1960s; the term "ZIP" was actually a trademarked acronym. Perhaps other countries use the term "zip code", but I believe the most generic term is postal code. – J.R. Jan 18 '15 at 17:55
  • This user has already asked about addressing the same or similar address, or at least that information was already provided as answers. – user6951 Jan 18 '15 at 18:30

This is not how postal addresses in the US are ordinarily expressed.

(In fact, since you are speaking of an address in Turkey, that is irrelevant: addresses should be expressed in the form preferred by postal authorities in the destination country, the people who actually deliver the mail. US or UK 'idiom' does not come into play. What follows is a description of addressing for mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.)

It differs from ordinary US addresses in three respects:

  • Each building ordinarily has only one street in its delivery address; cross streets or intersections are not identified, because buildings are numbered the entire length of the street. The USPS will accept and deliver mail with an address like "Independence Ave and Fifth Street", but only for buildings which are actually at that intersection; and the USPS prefers you use just the street address.

  • The floor number of an apartment is not usually specified: each apartment or office has a unique number or other designation, and only that is used. If there are very many apartments or offices, the designation will usually incorporate the floor number; for instance, 'Room 1217' will ordinarily designate a room on the 12th floor, and 'Apt 4B' will ordinarily designate Apartment B on the 4th floor.

  • Cities are followed by a two-letter abbreviation of the state in which the city lies; for example, 'New York NY' or 'St. Louis MO'.

There are further complications. Just one example: a street may be numbered in two directions from the center of the city; in this case it will have a pre- or post-directional indicating what part of the street is intended: '1234 E Fifth St'. Further details are available in the USPS' Publication 28 Mailing Standards, here.

If you were writing to an address in the US, it would look like this:


  • If US postal format is what the OP wants, then this has already been answered. See duplicate question. – user6951 Jan 18 '15 at 18:28
  • @δοῦλος Fancy that; I could have saved myself the effort. – StoneyB Jan 18 '15 at 18:32
  • @StoneyB as usual informative and exactly to the point. Thank you very much. But just one more question; supposing that the building in our question is the only building which is locaated at that intersection, then the number of Apt. (APT 8) should be mentioned between the name of two streets? I mean I have to say that: (*** 13 FIFTH ST APT 8 INDEPENDENCE AVE ISTANBUL TURKEY ***) Right? :) – A-friend Jan 20 '15 at 6:57
  • @A-friend Actually, in the US, if your delivery address is an intersection there's probably no street number, and there probably is a named building (after all, there are usually four buildings at the intersection): "#8 TYSON BUILDING / FIFTH ST AND INDEPENDENCE" – StoneyB Jan 20 '15 at 12:06

In both the United States and Turkey, the postal service has preferences about how mail is addressed that conflict with natural usages.

For example, the United States Postal Service:

  • Asks that state / territory names be included -- but only as 2-letter abbreviations (such as MO for Missouri) -- and that no periods be used in the abbreviation.
  • Asks that "North", "Street", and "Apartment" be abbreviated in particular ways (such as "N", "ST", and "APT", not "No.", "Str. or "Apt.") -- and that no periods be used in the abbreviation.
  • Asks that addresses be in entirely capital letters -- even when the capitalization is meaningful.
  • Demands that cities refuse to allow new addresses with fractional addresses.

The Turkish Postal service long had (and may still have) a law refusing to deliver mail addressed to the city of "Constantinople". The original poster's example is in Constantinople.

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