Two James Bond films have been filmed in part in Istanbul; ‘From Russia With Love’ in 1964 and ‘The World is Not Enough’ in 1999 starring Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan respectively as agent 007. The former is the better movie but the latter has its moments (covered in ‘London Pt 007: James Bond Filming Locations’) and thats where we start. After my Bosphorous cruise I took the ferry over to Uskudar on Day 1 to get a much closer look at the maidens tower just off the coast which is where ‘M’ (Judi Dench) is taken prisoner.
Istanbul was far more prominant in ‘From Russia With Love’with all the main sights featuring at some point. One of the more memorable places was the Basilica Cistern which I visited on Day 2 after Topkapi. In the film its situated under the Russian Consulate and is where James Bond and Kerim Bey escape with the Lektor decoding machine. In reality its under the south-west part of Aya Sofya. With temperatures reaching 35 degrees on that day this place was a nice cool break from the heat. The two lower photos are the columns in the north-west corner supported by Medusa heads.
Bond and Tatiana board the Orient Express on platform 1 at Sirkeci station (below). This station also fills in as Belgrade station where Bond sends a message to ‘M’ and Zagreb station where he is contacted by fake agent Grant. It was also not surprisingly the location for ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ in 1974.
Tatiana leaves a plan of the consulate and the whereabouts of the Lektor machine and a Russian agent is killed at Aya Sofya (also called Hagia Sofia). Bond also obtains blueprints for the Russian consulate at this place.
Bond is driven to meet Ali Kerim at Grand Bazaar (below left) which also featured in the 2009 film ‘The International’ starring Clive Owen. Bond also visits the Spice Bazaar (below right).
See other James Bond filming locations by clicking on the cities below: