… I was saddened when I heard that Sarai Sierra, a 33-year-old American on her first vacation outside the USA, had been found dead in Istanbul, Turkey — and shocked when I read the subsequent reactions condemning journeys by solo women as naive, misguided or both.

The circumstances surrounding the budding photographer’s death, including reports that she met a Turkish man with whom she’d been chatting online for months, remain murky.

But these facts are clear: Millions of solo women, American and otherwise, travel happily and safely around the globe — including Turkey.