Jacqueline Sutton, 50, was found hanged in the airport toilets on Saturday, according to reports in the British and Turkish press.
Turkish media said that she had become distressed after missing a connecting flight and having no money to buy a new ticket.
Friends and colleagues paid tribute to Sutton, who is reported to have been the acting head of the Iraq mission of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), a non-governmental organisation.
During her career, Sutton worked with humanitarian organisations and the United Nations and worked as a producer for the BBC.
Sudipto Mukerjee, a country director with the United Nations Development Programme, wrote on Twitter: “Very difficult to believe that my colleague @undpiniraq staffer and seasoned traveler @JackySutton committed suicide.”
The IWPR, which was not available for immediate comment, is already reeling from the death five months ago of Sutton’s predecessor Ammar al-Shahbander in a Baghdad car bomb.
The group supports and trains local reporters in conflict zones.
Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed “the death of a British national in Istanbul” in a statement and said they were providing consular support to their family, but did not name the dead person.