James Bond holiday destinations #1 – Turkey

Although it may not much feel like it at the moment, summer is fast approaching after a long winter that seemed to takeover spring, but finally the weather (at least where I live) has turned.

The central heating is off at long last and although the mountains in the distance still have plenty of snow on the peaks, I can almost hear the call of the beach.

With that in mind, and knowing that many people are looking forward to their summer holiday, we begin a series of this article taking a look at a number of 007 related destinations you might like to bear in mind for this summer.

A mosque in Istanbul

There is no particular reason to put Turkey in first place other than Istanbul featured so memorably in the pre-title sequence of Skyfall last year. However, rather than see it in a blur of action the city lent From Russia With Love (book and film) a lot of local colour with time to take the city in, and was featured also in The World Is Not Enough.

Although the capital of Turkey is Ankara, Istanbul is the country’s largest city, which had been the capital until the fall of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Formerly known as Constantinople, Istanbul is located at the mouth of the Black Sea and, divided by the Bosphorus, which separates Europe from Asia.

City

Visit the Grand Bazaar (From Russia With Love and Skyfall, when Bond rides his bike across the roof), the underground cistern of Yerebatan Sarayi (From Russia With Love), the Blue Mosque (above, prominent in the background of From Russia With Love), the Hagia Sofia (it is here that Tania meets Bond, who spots his Bulgarian tail among the huge columns), Sirkeci station (from where the Orient Express departs), Kiz Kulezi (the Maiden’s Tower, where M was held hostage in The World Is Not Enough)

Inland

Visit Adana, in the south of Turkey, to see the Varda Viaduct from which 007 fell at the start of Skyfall.

Beach

The costline of Fethiye in Turkey

After going MIA in Skyfall, James Bond stayed at Calis Beach in Fethiye, where he drowned his sorrows in drink, drugs and women. However, the beach bar where, with a scorpion balanced on the back of his hand, he so memorably downed tequila shots was built for the film.

Getting there

Budget airline EasyJet flys from London Luton to Sabiha Gökçen airport, 35 kilometres southeast of Istanbul. They also have flights to Dalaman (for Fethiye) from Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Stansted and Gatwick, while Adana’s Şakirpaşa airport mainly serves internal flights from Istanbul.

Further reading

on-the-tracks-of-007In On the Tracks of 007, Martijn Mulder and Dirk Kloosterboer take a comprehensive look at locations that appear in the films up to Quantum of Solace.

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