The Turkish Culture Minister has granted permission for Bond 23 to shoot in Istanbul...

Bond Returning To Istanbul

9th September 2011

According to press reports in the country, the 23rd James Bond production will also be taking in the scenery of Istanbul, Turkey, when Daniel Craig suits up as 007 for the third time.

Director Sam Mendes is reportedly keen to use the city’s historical neighborhood Sultanahmet Square, and has received permission from Turkish Culture Minister Ertugrul Günay.

The requests to shoot Bond 23 in the Square (pictured opposite), which lies between the iconic Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, were submitted a few weeks ago.


“Shooting will start within the next few months. We have discussed the issue and rather than closing the square completely, some parts could be partially closed from time to time for the filming,” Günay said, adding that it would be difficult to close the whole square. “We have to consider our tourists, but we can accommodate foreign film production companies that want to use Turkey as a platform.”

Two James Bond films have featured Istanbul: most notably "From Russia With Love", and to a lesser extent "The World Is Not Enough". Back in 1963, Sean Connery's second outing as 007 based the majority of their location shooting in the city and the surrounding areas. Ian Fleming also joined the production on location while they were shooting at the Hagia Sophia Mosque and at Sirkeci Train Station that stood in for all three of the train stations on the Orient Express line. While Fleming was reportedly delighted by the progress and the atmosphere on set, Istanbul proved a tough shoot.

The major confirmed location for Bond 23 is India, with South Africa and China also rumoured.

Filming at Pinewood Studios is scheduled to start in November 2011, with the film's UK release just under a year later on 26th October 2012.