The apartment was excellent and is located in a friendly and historic neighbourhood. After the second day several locals recognised us and made us feel welcome. The flat was comfortable and well appointed. The facilities were excellent and there was enough space to cook at home if you chose to. The local markets and shops are full of delicious produce to experiment with. The property is clean and well maintained.
Ozkan was an excellent host and we would recommend his walking tour of Balat and Fener. He is knowledgeable and shows you things you might otherwise miss.
The flat is well placed to see the main attractions. There is a regular bus service or a pleasant 20 minute walk along the riverbank to Eminonu, where you can catch ferries or walk through the Spice market to the main attractions, such as the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar.
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Balat and Fener for evening meals. Most don't serve alcohol, but that wasn't a problem. Agora, Forno's and a newer Fanaraki were all delicious.
Don't be put off by the recent attacks reported in the media. Once in Istanbul you feel safe and especially in a local areas like Balat. it is advisable to avoid large crowds in the main tourist spots, but there is so much more to the city. You will be charmed.