Istanbul Intrigues This is the story of Istanbul--but also of Turkey, the Balkans, and the eastern Mediterranean--during World War II, based on extensive interviews and the use of archives, especially those of the OSS, which I was the first to see for this region. The book is written as a cross between a scholarly work and a real-life thriller. The status of Turkey as a neutral country made it a center of espionage, a sort of actual equivalent of the film “Casablanca.”
Aspects of the story include the Allied-Axis struggle to get Turkey on their side; the spy rings set up in the Middle East and the Balkans; the attempts of Jews to escape through Turkey; the Allies’ covert war in Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and other countries; and the first accurate account of how the Germans recruited the British ambassador’s valet as a spy, who could have been their most successful agent of the war if only they had listened to his warnings. Other interesting stories include America’s first faltering attempts to establish its own intelligence agency and the affair of the efforts to bring about Hungary’s secret surrender to join the Allies, both of which ended in disaster.
The book was published by McGraw Hill in 1989 with a paperback from Pharos/MacMillan in 1992. It was then published by Bosphorus University Press in 2002. The Turkish edition was published as Istanbul Entrikalari in 1994 and reprinted in 1996, 1999, and--by Dogan--in 2007