I've travelled on Turkish before and have felt safe in Istanbul airport, though since the terrorist bombing last year, my in-laws would likely kill me if I tried again to take that routing. :(
Cheaper prices are available for different dates. Use the Google Flights engine to find the cheapest dates that work for you. Click on the pic above to be redirected to Google Flights, click on the day I've pre-chosen and see the calendar open with prices for departure, and then after you click on one, prices for return.