How safe are Turkish Airlines?
Very very safe.
Member of Star Alliance, Turkish Airlines significantly improved during last decade. It currently flies one of the youngest fleet in Europe and it is the fourth biggest airline in Europe.
Economy class catering was chosen the best in Europe.
Yes, you can fly to istanbul from New York JFK and Chicago non-stop by Turkish Airlines and Delta Airlines. It takes almost 10 hours. In october 2008, Washington DC-Istanbul flights will be available by Turkish Airlines, too. You can also fly with with a layover in almost any European country. British Airways is one of my favorites, and it cuts your travel in pieces.