--> Istanbul was a neutral city where enemies fighting to the death sat table to table in elegant restaurants listening to Gypsy orchestras. It was a city where a German and an American intelligence agent fell in love with the same Hungarian singer. Those who had barely escaped from lands of bombed-out buildings, shortages, and fear came to a place of bounteous peace. For people daily risking their lives elsewhere, as one of them put it, the most urgent question in Istanbul might be the waiters query, "Do you prefer red wine or champagne with your dinner?"
-->From the Preface to IstanbulIntrigues


A history of espionage in Istanbul and the surrounding area during WorldWarII, written by Barry Rubin. It is a better read then most SpyFiction, and contains an large amount of stories. All of these are true as far as the author can tell (for obvious reasons, this kind of story generally supposes some leeway).
The book shows how Turkey remained neutral by [[BatmanGambit convincing everyone of its sympathies]]. However, its strategic location ensured that every faction had an interest here. Spies clash in both posh hallways and in seedy alleyways. Meanwhile, the war rages all around, leaving Turkey an island of safety.
From there the Allies mount secret operations in the Balkans; the Germans mount ops in the Middle East; the Russians and Germans struggle for influence; lesser powers carry out their own intrigues and everyone tries (in a suitably Byzantine way) to find out and outwit each others' schemes. Meanwhile, the Turks watch over the whole thing to keep it from getting out of hand.
The book is written in what the SpyFiction trope would call a stale-martini fashion with evocative descriptions of the life in Istanbul during the war. The combination makes the book much like a film. It is well worth your read.

It is available in both hardback and paperback at [[http://www.amazon.com/Istanbul-Intrigues-True-Life-Casablanca-Barry/dp/0070542007/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1295970709&sr=1-2 Amazon]].


Tropes include:

* AlwaysGetsHisMan: Turkish security, called the {{Emniyet}}. Don't ever cross them.
* TheAlliance: The Allies
* AssInAmbassador: German Ambassador Von Papen. When an attempt is made on his life, the Emniyet is temporarily perplexed because ''anyone'' might have wanted to kill him.
** More specifically, he had a dangerous combination of taste for intrigue with an overestimation of his skill in such matters. He had already been declared persona non grata twice in his career for meddling in a host countries internal affairs. The Nazis might have killed him because [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness He Was Outliving His Usefulness]] and was more then a bit of a [[TheStarscream starscream]], the Anti-nazi german exiles might have done so because they blamed him for Hitler's rise. The Jews might have done so for {{Revenge}}, as might any resistance group, and though unlikely the Allies might have done so [[NothingPersonal for strategic reasons]] if he became annoying enough to make them ignore DiplomaticImpunity and von Papen was just the sort to do things like that. As it happened it was the Russians apparently wishing for a rift between Germany and Turkey.
* BadassBureaucrat: Betty Carp, the {{OSS}} secretary
* BadassFamily : The Whittall family were old Middle-Eastern hands, and provided a number of agents for British intelligence.
* BadassIsraeli: The Zionists
* BanOnPolitics : At every Romanian Cafe there was a sign that said, "Discussion of politics is prohibited." This included the cafes most frequented by spies, so of course that prohibition had rather limited effect.
* FancyDinner: A number of these are given for diplomats. Another kind of battlefield in a way, but somewhat more pleasant.
* BitterSweetEnding: For the Poles and the Czechs who were some of the Allies best agents and ended the war seeing a victory for others but their own countries occupied.
* TheButlerDidIt: The British Ambassador's Valet, code named ''Cicero'' by the Germans.
* TheChessmaster: Everyone wants to be this, naturally enough. Turkish prime Minister Ismet Inonu is one of the best.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder : Several agents have this.
* CityOfSpies
* TheCityNarrows: The ally ways of Istanbul
* CombatReferee : The {{Emniyet}}, Turkish security served as this.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Deconstructed. It is noted how many of these are found in 1945.
** The attempt on von Papen's life is revealed to be done by a Muslim from the Soviet Union who then settles in Turkey.
** The Hungarians attempted to become this on a national level. The Germans arrived first.
* DiplomaticImpunity : Every embassy conducted espionage as a side business. The Turks didn't mind as long as they didn't make a mess and spied primarily on each other.
* DirtyCommunists: The Russians
* TheDon: Andre Gyorgy, the best smuggler in the Balkans. Everyone availed themselves of his services, on all sides.
* FakeOutMakeOut: One female Zionist agent bought a large number of condoms in which to smuggle messages to refugees. Most people of course assumed it was for another purpose which was not good for her reputation.
* FemmeFatale: German agent Wilhemina Vargasy
* GambitPileup: At the end the author gives a list of thirteen separate spy agencies, and the code words for about two dozen ops and individual agents.
* GoodGuyBar: The famous high-class restaurant Karpics. Both good guys and bad guys went there.
* GoodShepherd : Roncalli, later known as Pope John XXIII who befriended fleeing Jews.
* GovernmentInExile
* HonorBeforeReason: The Turks punish the attempted assassins of von Papen despite the Russians bullying. No Russian is going to tell ''them'' what to do.
* IntrepidReporter: Istanbul was a good place to find these.
* {{Istanbul}}
* LargeHam : George Earle the American diplomat and would be spy who seemed to think he was in a movie.
** Lanning Macfarland, Chief of Station for OSS-Istanbul, who actually went around in a trenchcoat.
* LaResistance
* ManipulativeBastard: Cicero
* MerchantCity: The Grand Bazaar
* NobleFugitive : White Russians, Anti-Nazi Germans.
* OvertOperative: George Earle. He was so flamboyant that the {{OSS}} cut off contact with him and used him as a diversion.
* PracticalJoke : On hearing of a meeting at a restaurant in which a high ranking German was to speak, the British abducted the doorman and put a replacement of their own in who told all the guests that the meeting was canceled. When the speaker arrived he found the place empty.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman : British ambassador Knatchbull-Hughsson
* RecycledInSpace: Not in the sense of a deliberate attempt by the author. However IstanbulIntrigues, by coincidence, has a weird resemblance to ''Series/BabylonFive''.
* SchizoTech : The British and Americans hire Aegean "caiques"(fishing boats) to smuggle arms to partisans. They use a design that is hundreds of years old, but is adequate for their purpose.
* ScrewTheWarWerePartying: Rich people in the Balkans before the Germans arrive. Not really much else they could do about it.
* SecretPolice: The Gestapo and the NKVD
* SecretWar
* TheSpymaster: Lots
* StoneWall: ZigZagged. Turkey has a large and [[ProudWarriorRace very pugnacious]] population in tough terrain which discourages invaders. At the same time in {{Istanbul}} itself the authorities are terrified, knowing that their city is ill-defended and full of extremely flamable buildings, and generally vulnerable to DeathFromAbove.
* ThoseWackyNazis
* TreasureRoom : The office of the {{SOE}} had a large vault full of British gold coins to be used in nefarious enterprises in which paper money just wouldn't do. One British agent called it "the stable" because each coin was stamped with a picture of a mounted St George. The money was referred to as "Britain's cavalry".
* TruceZone
* UnreliableNarrator: The book was compiled by interviewing retired ''spies''. The writer seems to have done his best, but ultimately you have to live with that.
* WarIsGlorious: If you get to spend WorldWarII eating [[FancyDinner Fancy Dinners]] at Istanbul and making schemes.
* WarIsHell: If you spend WorldWarII ''not'' eating [[FancyDinner Fancy Dinners]] at Istanbul.
* WorldWarII