I recently returned from a 3 week trip to the Middle East & India, and put together a trip report with lots of photos and videos to augment the report. The full report can be found here: www.justinandcrystal.com/MiddleEast2014/
Then we had roughly 48 hours in Istanbul, where we tried to hit as many highlights as possible.
We had an excellent time, and are really glad we went. Most all of our friends thought we were nuts to go to the Middle East, but we never felt unsafe, and everyone we met was both very welcoming and very appreciative that we came to their country.
I'm hopeful that this may be of use to those of you planning trips to the area. Let me know if you have any questions about any of this, I'd be happy to answer as best I can.