Once the honors and ceremonies associated with the ambassador's return had been carried out with appropriate pomp and solemnity, a more festive mood took hold as the Turks embraced (both figuratively and literally) the visiting Americans as potential allies and friends. A large sign with the words "Welcome Missouri" appeared on a prominent harbor lighthouse, and soon souvenirs with images of the battleship were being sold in the marketplaces. Sightseeing Americans were greeted with much amity, and several banquets were held—complete with after-dinner bouts of belly-dancing performed to the "Missouri Waltz"!
Of greater interest to many members of the ships' crews—and a stark example of how times have changed—the Turkish government ordered several blocks in the city's red-light district cleaned and renovated, and Turkish medical personnel checked the "workers" there to ensure they were unencumbered by consequential maladies. As Paul Stillwell describes it in his landmark book Battleship Missouri, "it was something akin to the Good Housekeeping seal of approval." In an even more appreciated gesture of friendship, the visiting customers were not charged for services rendered! Further, Turkish military personnel and American shore patrolmen were authorized to turn away all local would-be patrons so that the Americans would have exclusive use of the attractions.
Lest there be concern that all of this frivolity had no greater purpose than recreation, Missouri 's visit coincided with threatened Soviet interloping in Greece, Turkey, and Iran and was seen as a tangible manifestation of American power that served as a countermove to those threats. This powerful warship's showing of the flag in that troubled part of the world—previously a British rather than American sphere of influence—has since been viewed as the U.S. Navy's official entry into the Cold War and as a fledgling step toward the creation of the powerful Sixth Fleet that would stand toe-to-toe with the Soviet navy in decades to come. Her visit was an early tactical move in an overall strategy of containment that ultimately lifted the Iron Curtain and ended the tyranny of Soviet communism.