MI6 digs up one of 007's in-the-field postcards
to Loelia Ponsonby whilst on the From Russia With
Postcards From Bond - Istanbul
9th March 2009
Ian Fleming's fifth James
Bond novel, "From
Russia With Love" sees James Bond on the tail
of a defecting Russian agent and the Soviet SPEKTOR decoder.
Bond liaises with Tatiana in Turkey, a plant in order to
entice, kill and discredit MI6's top agent, before the
pair embark on a world wind romance on-board the Orient
Express. MI6 dusts off the archive and uncovers unseen
material from Bond's mission in Istanbul.
Above: Postcards from the MI6 archives
- postmarked Istanbul 1954...
From Russia With Love Locations
Bond joins forces with the MI6 Section Chief of Station
T, Turkey: Darko Kerim. One of the richest descriptions of any location Fleming
wrote of, Istanbul was built on land that was colonised by the Greeks over
3000 years BC. Settled on a very narrow peninsula, in Fleming's time Istanbul
marked a division between east and west and for a lot of the cold war, a
'demilitarised zone' of sorts. Spying ran rife but Turkey remained a no-man's
territory. A key trade pathway from the pre-biblical times, this land quickly
became a central piece of the Roman Empire but was constantly under attack
or scrutiny. Prior to being known as Istanbul, the land was known as Constantinople
and then Stanboul, before being officially titled Istanbul in 1930.
Bond's first night in Istanbul is spent
is a "dingy room at the Kristal Palas on the heights of Pera",
which in the novel he regrets immediately. What he does appreciate
about his first impressions of the city is his breakfast. A feast of
yogurt and fresh figs, washed down with rich black coffee - made
in the way that only the Turkish know how.
007 is driven royally through the city - which is a
bustling haven and rich with culture. His luxury does not reflect
those around him though. The city is one of fiscal extremes. Bond
the Head of Section, Kerim, whom he likes immediately. Bond and Darko
lunch at the aromatic Spice Bizzare and the pair discuss their love
of life, fine food and women. Darko comments that he does not "care
the hell what other people eat so long as they enjoy it," and that
he "can't stand sad eaters and sad drinkers."
After the romantic rendezvous in the bridal suit of his Turkish
hotel, Bond and Tatiana board the Orient express and are whisked on their way
to Venice. They steam through the eastern block, passing through Greece and
Yugoslavia into Italy, Switzerland and France. Much of the drama takes place
on the train, where Kerim and Bond outwit SMERSH agents in order to smuggle
Tatiana and the SPEKTOR into
When all seems well Bond returns to London and the Ritz in Paris. Here he orders a double vodka at the Cambon bar. At the lavish hotel, Bond retired to his room to be confronted by the feisty SMERSH agent, Klebb. Disgusted her master plan had fallen apart around her, Klebb tries one last show of force - attacking Bond and leaving him for dead on the plush carpet of his suit.
MI6 Literary Locations Guide
From Russia With Love
||Postcards From Bond
Delve into the MI6 archives and uncover never before seen postcards from Bond's missions around the world to various MI6 personal. Recipiants include M, Moneypenny, Loelia Ponsonby and May - 007's housekeeper.