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Turkey/Turkish reference


In Ian Fleming's (James Bond) book "Thunderball"( or possibly "From Russia With Love"), one of the characters makes the following comment:- "The Turks of the hills are alright, but the Turks of the plains are no good". I think it was in the context of which Turks were the best employees for an organisation.

I am wondering why this remark was made. My guess, given that I have never been to Turkey, is that those in the hills live in a harsher climate, as regards weather etc.,  than those on the plains, so Ian Fleming was trying to suggest that the Turks in the hills were a tougher people. Is this correct, or is there some other explanation?


Dear Geoff,
thanks for asking. Honestly, I don't know the reference so am not sure of the context. I asked a Turkish friend and he did not really know either. However, as I thought about it, here is what I came up with... I'm guessing that the context is some kind of spy/soldier/action type job. If that is the case, then I think it refers to the fact that the "hill Turks" are used to harsher climates as you said but also probably more of your brigands come from the hills. These Turks would be better soldiers, used to being on the run, hiding, etc. The Turks of the plains are more civilized, more urbanized and not as tough. So basically I agree with what you wrote, but since I have never heard that phrase here, I can not be 100% sure.
I'm sorry I can't be more helpful on this one,


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Duke Dillard


I can answer travel questions about Cappadocia and Ankara. I can also answer questions about living in Turkey as a foreigner.


I have lived in Turkey since 2007. In summer 2011 we moved to Cappadocia and as of September 2011 I have been writing for I have visited many sites and have many friends in Cappadocia. Also, as part of my work I am reading every book I can find on the region and people.

B.A. Economics from Washington & Lee University (Lexington, VA, USA) MBA from Bilkent University (Ankara, Turkey)

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