Since the early twentieth century the resident embassy has been supposed to be living on borrowed time. By means of an exhaustive historical account of the contribution of the British Embassy in Turkey to Britain’s diplomatic relationship with that state, this book shows this to be false. Part A analyses the evolution of the embassy as a working unit up to the First World War: the buildings, diplomats, dragomans, consular network, and communications. Part B examines how, without any radical changes except in its communications, it successfully met the heavy demands made on it in the following century, for example by playing a key role in a multitude of bilateral negotiations and providing cover to secret agents and drugs liaison officers.
G. R. Berridge, Ph.D. (1978) in Politics, University of Durham, is Emeritus Professor of International Politics at the University of Leicester and a Senior Fellow of DiploFoundation. Among the most recent of his numerous publications on diplomacy is Diplomacy: Theory and Practice (Basingstoke (Hampshire) and New York, 2005).
"Geoffrey Berridge is the pre-eminent British authority on the art and practice of diplomacy and, in retirement, is still active in the field. Following the advice of a former colleague at the University of Leicester, that he should study a government in depth, Berridge decided to apply the principle to a particular embassy. He chose the British Embassy in Turkey, and over the years, he has accumulated the material which has allowed him to write this study of the embassy from its establishment in 1583 to the present. [. . . .] Berridge is a fervent advocate of the continuing relevance of the resident embassy in international diplomacy and his belief determines the balance of this book. After elaborating upon the evolution of the embassy at Constantinople from 1583 to 1914, the second half of the book concentrates on the role of the embassy, based in both Istanbul and Ankara, from the First World War to the present day."