26 Jul 2015

The Russian Consulate / Şişli Mosque - Part 2

Quite a few scenes in From Russia With Love takes place in and around the Russian consulate in Istanbul. After killing the Bulgar who works for the Russians tailing Bond in Istanbul, Donald Grant parks the Citroën with the dead man outside of the Russian consulate on Klebb's orders, to cast suspicions on the British. The Russian entrance guard gets suspicious of Grant and walks up to the car, only to find the Bulgar dead.

The consulate is located along Halaskargazi Caddesi in the Şişli disctrict of Istanbul and in a few scenes you see a mosque visible in the far background. This mosque is called Şişli Merkez Cami and is located located in Şişli Square between the Büyükdere Avenue and the streets Halaskargazi and Abide-i Hürriyet. As seen from the above picture, a BP petrol station was located right opposite the consulate in 1963. This petrol station is gone.

The mosque is also visible when Bond arrives at the consulate in a taxi, and when Romanova leaves the consulate with her colleagues earlier in the film. Needless to say, the city has changed around the mosque, but the location is still recognizable and well-wort visiting. The fact that all the scenes outside the consulate and the actual consulate building are situated in the same place, and that they are still recognizable, makes it an exquisite location.

The Şişli mosque was the first mosque built Şişli Square during the Republican era in Turkey, after 1923. It was constructed between 1945 and 1950, due to the fact that the Şişli district was lacking a mosque at the time. It had thus only been open for about ten years at the time of filming of From Russia With Love. It is designed in the classical Ottoman architectural style.

After Grant parks the Citroën, he jumps into a taxi where Klebb is waiting, and they drive off along Halaskargazi Caddesi. During their taxi ride, another mosque is very briefly seen, covered here. This mosque is, however, located in another part of Istanbul, in the Beşiktaş disctrict by the Bosporus. Despite the vast change in the city of Istanbul, a few houses seen when Grant gets into the taxi can still be recognized on location today, for instance the beige building in the second picture below.

The entrance to the consulate garden is seen to the right.

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