19 Jul 2015

The Russian Consulate in Istanbul - Part 1

In From Russia With Love 1963, Bond is sent to Istanbul to meet with Tatiana Romanova in order to try to obtain the Lector decoder from the Russians. He does not know that Romanova is working under orders of Colonel Klebb. Romanova is working at the Russian Consulate in Istanbul where she, unknowingly, is recruited to SPECTRE by Klebb.

The entrance gates to the garden of the Russian Consulate is seen very early in the film when Romanova and her colleagues leave for the day and later when Grant parks the Citroën with the dead Bulgar outside the entrance gate, observed by the Russian guard.

From Russia With Love was filmed during the spring and summer of 1963, mainly on location in Istanbul. Here, in the Şişli district, you can find the entrance gate and the building used as the consulate in the film.

The "Russian consulate" can be found along Halaskargazi Caddesi, and the entrance gate has the number 161. The building is located at a very large property surrounded by big garden. This is the only villa along Halaskargazi Caddesi.
If you walk to the back of the house (to street that runs along the back of the property) and you take the first small street to the right of the building, you are walking down the street 'T.M. Ali Bey'. A funny fact coincidence considering the name of Bond's ally in the film, Ali Kerim Bey.

The entrance gate and fence surround a large building, also briefly seen later in the film. The villa and the neighborhood will be covered in more detail later. This is definitely one of the best Bond locations in Istanbul and well worth a visit.

The fact that the location has not changed notably since 1963 and the fact that you can walk around this location undisturbed, since this location is unknown and of no interest to the common tourist, makes it even more memorable. A taxi from the city centre (for instance Hagia Sophia) should cost less than 25-30 Lira.

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