How safe is Istabul right now for 2 women traveling?
I would consider Istanbul quite safe, just as the first time I visited it alone, 20 years ago. The tips that we offer for solo women apply all over Europe and in Turkey. And you are two people, to look out for each other.
I went to Istanbul twice recently - once as a solo female traveler, once with a female friend (I'm in my 40s, my friend is in her 30s). I had no problems whatsoever either time. In my experience, the most aggressive men are the ones who are trying to sell you something. Once they realize you're not interested, they will leave you alone.
I was in Istanbul in October and had no problems as a single female using public transportation and wandering around Sultanahmet at night. Oddly the news in the states made it look like it was WW3 there so my coworkers were plesantly suprised that I returned with my head attached. My dad is still freaked out that I was there (but he wants to go to Amsterdam). Merchants are sometimes overly friendly (following you trying to sell you carpet or trying to get you into their resturant) but a no thanks in Turkish worked well for the most part. I never felt unsafe, more like the guys with cheap crap outside the Eiffel tower. As with any travel you want to be aware of your surroundings, and listen to your gut. Probably if you see riot police you should go somewhere else, the hoteliers were awesome about helping me figure out where to go and where to avoid. For me it felt like Rome or Naples. Sketch wise I felt more unsafe the month before in a not so nice part of Des Moines, Iowa and would not go into a lot of Chicago after dark.
I haven't been to Turkey in several years, but my experience was the same as those posted. Hospitality to strangers is something I encountered over and over again. I traveled solo.