I have souvenirs from places I’ve traveled and worked. A traditional Afghan hat, oil directly from an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, an antique dagger from Saudi Arabia… they are wonderful memory aids for me for place’s I’ve been and thing’s I’ve done. Are they “better” than a plastic snow globe? They weren’t mass produced, they aren’t meant for general consumption by a tourist, but no they aren’t any better as a memory aid as a spoon or a snow globe or a any other item.
Istanbul is an amazing city and yes, you can go to the museum and touch 2000 year old Roman sarcophagi, it blowns my mind.
As far as scams in Istanbul go, the cab driver tried to charge me 300 dollars US for what should have been a 10-15 dolar US cab ride. I didn’t budge and he got very threatening and scarry, but when I insisted we get the Police he reset the meter and I left without incident. I also had someone try to hand me my “wallet” that a I dropped, which allows them to see where you check to check your wallet and lets them know where to pick pocket you. I didn’t react and told him to stop trying to scam me and they left me alone. I also had a guy follow me and after doubling back twice I was able to dodge him, not sure what he had intended. So yeah, Istanbul is amazing, but lots of scams for sure.