Traveling to Turkey -- any advice?

I may travel to Turkey (Istanbul) next year to visit someone. (My schedule is very flexible.) I’ve never been to Turkey, have no idea what to expect, and would be grateful for opinions or advice. The total visit may last one month or so.

While there, I’m sure I’ll want to take the opportunity to visit Greece, at least. (I’ve never been to Greece either.)

My health isn’t 100% so that might be a concern. I’m old enough for Medicare but have never applied. Would it be of any use in Europe anyway?

We did a two+ week trip to Greece and Turkey 3 years ago (right in the midst of Grexit discussion). Briefly:
3 days in Crete (car rental)
Ferry to 2 days in Santorini (car rental)
Fly to 3 days Athens
Flew to 1 day to Izmir (really just to see Efes so car rental)
Flew to 3 days in Capadoccia and Kayseri (car rental)
and 3 days in Istanbul.
We generally flew either or and all flights <1 hr.

General thoughts, Turkey was far more enjoyable and interesting and memorable, but I don’t think I need to go back in the same way that I need to get back to Greece. Istanbul, Athens, and Naples (maybe you’ve been?) are similar in that they are major cities first and then tourist destinations second and are all on the grittier side than much of Europe that is more familiar. Turkish food is truly amazing- always request whatever the server recommends or the house specialty. Several times we had to wait an extra 15 minutes while the chef whipped up a favorite recipe.

English is 0 problems anywhere- maybe in Izmir but not really.

Capadoccia (and its many many spellings) is probably the coolest, most interesting place but I like to do hiking and walking about and the underground houses & cities were amazing!

Efes is not to be missed- our biggest regret is not having done some of the other destinations nearby- like Bodrum and the limestone pools. 3 weeks would have been better.

Cash (and U.S. $) in both countries commanded a huge discount- particularly when negotiating, but we were there when both countries were hurting financailly and there were ATM limits for citizens, but a good meal for 4 in Istanbul was ~$10-15.

Istanbul and Athens have much to see and do and all of it is at least somewhat redeeming. But pick and choose what you want to see and eat ahead of time- choose a hotel close to the city center(s) as walking about at night is what makes a city come alive!

But I think 3 days is about right for either Istanbul and Athens- both could really be done in 2 days if needed but rather than spend a 4th day, go elsewhere!

If you can tolerate the Grand Bazaar for more than 30 minutes, I am not your best tour guide- I liked the 60 historical artistic copies of the Koran at the museum on the hippodrome and the local tour guides mosque descriptions far more!

Eat, eat, and eat.

My brother loves Turkey. He was there in the military and has returned whenever possible since then. He is also gregarious (in a good way). If you want to chat with someone about Turkey, PM me and I’ll have him contact you.

Been to Turkey about 5 times in my life. First time was when I was around 10, with my family on a trip.

Istanbul would definitely be the place to spend the vast majority of your time. So much to do. Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, etc.

Ankara also has some sights. Ataturk’s Tomb is pretty interesting.

One more thing. If you are a woman, or if you are going with one, because sexual harassment is a thing there. Encountered some creepy things there.

Feel free to ask me more questions if you wish.