I am considering spending a few days in Istanbul in between other trips. With the current political scene, is Istanbul safe for a single older woman? Thanks!
Any country you have a question about safety the best practice is to first look and read what the United States Department has to say and then go from there
Having traveled in countries of similar status quo I would worry if a single female in my family not traveling on employer business was going to Istanbul solo.
My cousin’s daughter (in her early 30’s) went with her best friend (similar age female).
But always use reasonable precautions as you would in any other large city.
I was in Istanbul with a friend (two single retired women) about 5 years ago, then on my own for a couple of days. We had a great time and always felt perfectly safe. The current political scene doesn't much seem to affect tourists. Of course, there's always the possibility of renewed tensions between Turkey and the US which could again affect the visa situation. Other than that, I wouldn't be concerned.
As for US State Dept bulletins, I get them often here in Israel and they are often CYA statements.
Istanbul is a wonderful city, but I agree with Jazz+Travels.
My opinion would be not to go at this time.
I was in Istanbul on my own in 2016, and will be returning this May. I had no problems whatsoever, of course I am an older man, not an older woman. Istanbul seems at least as safe as other European big cities. Tourism has been down, especially tourists from the US and other western countries. People appreciate having you there. Most people dealing with visitors speak English. There is ample police presence in the areas near major sites, for general security. I do not think you should hesitate to include Istanbul in your plans.
By the way, I highly recommend the Regie Ottoman Hotel, where I stayed in 2016 and will again in May. It is lovely, very centrally located, very reasonably priced, has a wonderful buffet breakfast included in most room rates, and has a very friendly and helpful lobby staff (a relatively small lobby).