I am flying Turkish Airlines from the United States to the Seychelle Islands and back in early December. USA and Turkey are in a visa hold and not issuing visas to each other at this time. Does anyone know if I might be able to visit Istanbul during one of my 10 hour layovers?
Thanks for all your inputs, I appreciate it. I was able to talk to the Turkish Consulate today. As @hnltraveler mentioned, I am OK if I don't leave the airport.
If I wanted to leave the airport, they suggested that I fly to Canada and obtain a visa there. Since my layovers are only about 10 hours and I can't change my ticket, I am going to wait it out. I may be able to do a tour on the backend return.
There is a delegation working on the issue, I will hope for the best.
UPDATE (as of December 2017) : The Turkish government is once again issuing e-visas (US$20) and visa-on-arrivals (US$30) to US Citizens.
The details below are, at this point in time, incorrect but left for historic reference.
As stated in Timatic, the database used by airlines:
Visa required, except for Nationals of USA can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 3 months. This does not apply to nationals of the USA departing from the USA and traveling directly to Turkey or transiting in a third country less than 24 hours
So you can get a visa on arrival at the airport visa desk if not arriving directly from the US, and having spent at least 24 hours transiting a third country. In this case, you can visit Istanbul.
Otherwise, you will be refused entry, and cannot visit Istanbul, since no visas or e-visas in advance are being issued to US citizens
UPDATE: Timatic's been updated, now stating:
Visa required, except for Nationals of the USA can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 3 months. They must be arriving from a country other than the USA and have a residence permit issued by the country they are arriving from.
So Americans residing in the US can no longer get a visa on arrival at all