We spent last week in Istanbul, three days at the wonderful Hotel Sultania in Sultanahment and three days across the Golden Horn in a cute Airbnb in Beyoglu. Most everyone was masked. Temps were taken on entering famous places and the Grand Bazar. Far as we know we saw only one other American. There were many Russian tourists. It rained a lot.
Travel there, as with most places, is way down, and the locals are feeling it. Though we didn't go to shop- we lived for four years in the Gulf and have been to India and Morocco, so have ample carpets- I suspect there are deals to be had. Our wonderful hotel was less than 85 euros per night, with a big room and larger breakfast. The Airbnd was about $50 per night.
Merchants are persistent but polite once you let them know you're not interested.
Shoe shine men have a neat trick. As they approach you they allow one of their brushes to fall from their shoe shine boxes, then proceed as if they didn't notice. You being kind of course point it out or pick it up for them. They thank you profusely and then ask if they can brush your shoes. Reminds me of the old Bourbon Street trick in NOLA; "Hey man, I bet I know where you got your shoes!" How can they possibly know? :)