Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

(February 24, 1922–December 1980): Beefy Turkish character actor who played the persistent, mustachioed Bulgarian agent with the beret in From Russia with Love. Ceylan’s character is the one who tails 007 (Sean Connery) from the Istanbul airport to the office of Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendariz). And he then tails defecting Russian cipher clerk Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) to the St. Sophia Mosque, where he is struck and killed by Grant (Robert Shaw) before he can intercept the map of the Russian consulate that Tatiana is leaving for Bond. Another sequence, in which Ceylan tails Bond to the Bosphorus ferryboat but gets into an automobile accident planned by Bond and Kerim Bey, was cut from the film when the son of director Terence Young pointed out that Ceylan’s character had already been killed in the mosque. The story sounds improbable, but in the heat of postproduction, scenes may be moved around in the edit; it’s likely that the ferryboat sequence was originally scripted to precede the Bulgarian agent’s death.

A native of Istanbul, the prolific Ceylan made his feature film debut in director Münir Hayri Egeli’s historical romance Sultan Selim and Hasan the Janissary (1951). He spent his entire career as a major player in the Turkish film industry. From Russia with Love was his sole foray into English-language filmmaking.


Subscribe on your favorite podcast app