Safety Question & Female traveler & dress code
Turkey is generally a muslim country, yet shouldn’t be mistaken to be as Islamic as it’s neighboring countries or other Islamic countries in the middle east.
Istanbul is as Europe as it could get. Means, you could wear almost anything you like just as you would when you wander around in your own country, not if you are from a strictly-dress-coded country of course. You could wear shirts & jogging pants if you’re into it, shorts, skirts, it’s your call. BUT, when visiting places of worship, esp. mosques, you have to wear decent clothes, define: covering your curves, down to below your knees. Safe to say, wear pants or long skirt.
Some women in the populace wear headscarf, but, that’s their prerogative, it’s their choice, and you have the choice of doing the same if you so desire or it is your religion, tradition or customs to do so. Again, it’s your call.
Getting bothered, stalked, pestered, badgered or harassed happens everywhere, even in the so-called safest cities. If you keep your wits with you plus you conduct yourself properly, dress properly (or should we say – decently), the chance of untoward incidents would be very slim, either in your own place or any place you go. Same thing applies to Istanbul or any cities or town in Turkey.
Istanbul is twice (or more) safer than many other big cities on the planet. You could walk in main streets in either Taksim or Sultanahmet area at night without much worry as long as there are also other people around. I don’t think you would want to stroll at night alone in a deserted street or alley? And would there be any reason that you would walk alone in non-touristy ghettos? I’ve seen several lone female travelers in cities and towns I’ve been in Turkey. I saw 3 to 5 lone female travelers wandering around Carsi in winter when I was there, when there are not much tourists in that place during that time of the year.
Turkish are generally friendly people, arguably one of the friendliest and helpful (if not the first on the list) people on the planet.
But Istanbul or Turkey ain’t Pleasantville, so definitely you’ll find fault, yet in general, it’s as non-toxic as other cities, twice safer than other big cities, and a lot safer than several mega cities.
So don’t let that safety question wards you off from enjoying Istanbul or Turkey in general.