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<   No. 4415   2020-12-25   >

Comic #4415

1 Caption: Saint Sofia Mosque, Istanbul.
1 Guide: We are now approaching the most interesting corner of Saint Sofia... including these two great red porphyry columns stolen and brought from Egypt.
2 Stud: Drop your information at the base of that column over there. {pointing}
3 Tatiana: Or I could just give it to you.
4 Stud: I’m a spy! We have to do this properly!

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It's been a very long time between drinks for James Stud and the Espionage theme, who last appeared in #2633. I've been lamenting for a long time that I never managed to finish the From Russia With Love parody. I know this theme isn't very popular with most readers, but sometimes I just want to make a comic for myself, so here we are. I will be continuing the story, but I'll try and make it somewhat less frequent than the other themes.

I was surprised when I looked at the script to get the opening line in this comic (which is verbatim from the movie) that we're already about halfway through the film.

Saint Sofia Mosque, a.k.a. Hagia Sophia, has been in the news recently, with the Turkish government's announcement on 10 July 2020 to nullify Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's 1935 decree to turn the former Byzantine church (532-1453) and Ottoman mosque (1453-1935) into a museum, and repurpose it as a functioning mosque, covering all of the Christian decoration and iconography in the building.

This has been seen as a very controversial move, by a Turkish government moving from its 20th century secular roots to a more fundamentalist religious stance.

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