We were in Istanbul in mid-November. The biggest problem we had was at the end of our private tour as we were returning to the ship at about 4:30. The traffic at the port stopped in a gridlock with no movement for about 15 minutes. Time was ticking as our ship's departure was at 5:30. Since no car, taxi, van or bus was moving, the 22 of us got off the bus in the middle of this traffic (no vehicle was moving), and fast walked to the ship. It was a struggle for several people with some physical limitations. We made it back on time.
I knew that the ship wouldn't leave without us as I met a group from the ship excursions, and they were leaving 15 minutes after our van. Of course, I wasn't familiar with Istanbul and didn't know if the buses had a magic carpet route back to the port, so wasn't 100% sure.
I wrote to the tour company, and they said the traffic that day was unusual and took no responsibility for all the problems we had. Also, one woman in our group was assaulted by three teens near Hagia Sophia who tried to knock her down and take her purse. She was stronger than they thought. I personally reported this to our guide (I was the personal who put this tour together), but the company said this was news to them.
My question is: what is the typical traffic like on the streets returning to the port?