|During World War II, Turkey 'teemed with spies|
defectors, diplomats, assassins, journalists,
and a future pope.'
- Istanbul was Germany's backdoor to the Middle East and the Allies' secret passageway into occupied Europe. It became a center of espionage and intrigue for both sides.
- No less than seventeen foreign intelligence services operated in Turkey during the war. The stakes were high, and the measures taken were desperate.
- Istanbul was no place for the innocent or unwary. Over 200 people made a living by wholesaling information to both sides and retailing it to journalists.
- Diplomats of opposing sides who had been poker-playing friends until war broke out now looked through each other without a flicker of recognition.
- Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli, a poor Italian priest who would later become Pope John XXIII, was assigned as the Vatican's legate and apostolic vicar to Istanbul's few Catholics during this time period.
- The only way the Allies could profit from Turkey's neutrality was to use the country as a secret base for gathering intelligence and supporting European resistance movements. These missions had to be accomplished in a way that would avoid any provocation which might make the Germans attack or the Turks expel the Allies
- "Few people realize how very difficult Turkey's position is and how dangerous a game she has been playing. ... Turkey has rendered her greatest service to the Allied cause by retaining her precious neutrality."