I thought I might let you all know that I was in Istanbul recently July 8-13. I know many want to go, but are concerned for safety. I am still reflecting on safety, both in Istanbul and here in the USA.
I want you to know that I felt very safe in Istanbul. ( I am a 63 year old woman ). The airport security was pretty tight - checking trunks of incoming taxis and cars. Not every single one, but it was happening. Once in the Istanbul airport for departure, you go through three security points. Pretty good, I think. I know the airport attack occured just outside of and barely inside of the terminal. I realized that could happen at any airport anywhere, except maybe Israel. It definitely challenged my false sense of security in the USA.
The restaurants are pretty empty and no long lines anywhere, not even Topkapi Palace or Hagia Sophia. I don't mean at all to diminish the horror of the bomb attacks in Istanbul. As a matter of fact, many people there with whom I spoke are horrified, too. But it made me so sad. Everyone was so grateful for us to visit. The city is enormous and there are so many interesting places to be. We had a little elbow room there, which is unusual. I went to all of the places that have been bombed and experienced my own moments of silence. It seemed as risky ( or not ) as anywhere else to me that is a large metropolis.
Looking at us from over there, we look like gun toting maniacs in the US. I never worried about mass concealed weapons in Istanbul. But I worry about them very much where I live in Seattle, Washington. Everyone has to come to their own terms with comfort and safety. All I can say is that I was worried before I got there, but once there, I really relaxed. We had a wonderful time and the Turkish are known for their hospitality - all still there. If you are considering a trip to Istanbul, you won't be disappointed.