Aerosmith comes for concert but visits Istanbul

Aerosmith comes for concert but visits Istanbul

Aerosmith comes for concert but visits Istanbul

Steven Tyler toured Istanbul before leaving Turkey. REUTERS Photo

World-famous rock band Aerosmith canceled its planned May 14 concert in Istanbul due to the mining disaster in Soma, but the band was still able to see the sites of Istanbul before departing the city.

The band members toured mostly in Sultanahmet, particularly Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace, according to daily Hürriyet travel writer Saffet Emre Tonguç, who accompanied frontman Steven Tyler for a day out on the town.

“We headed to the Sultanahmet Square,” Tonguç said. “When he learned that the Four Seasons Sultanahmet Hotel was a prison in the past, he was really surprised. Then we went to the Hagia Sophia and touched almost each stone. He has a very sharp eye on details. He was unable to believe that a 56-meter long dome was built with the technology they had in 537. Since he wanted to learn everything, we did not even have lunch but got lost in the artifacts of the historic peninsula.”

Tonguç said Tyler was especially impressed by the tiles at Sultanahmet Mosque, the 3,500-year-old Dikilitaş and the 8,000-year-old history of the city.

“He talked with the street acrobats when he saw them while going to Topkapı Palace. He liked the simit and chestnuts sold on the street. He entered the 500-year-old plane tree in the palace and sang a song in the amazing acoustic environment. The seraglio drew his interest the most. He was upset that only 10 rooms were open in the 400-room seraglio. He heard about Hürrem and took a photo in front of the room where Süleyman the Magnificent lived. He was really amazed by our İznik tiles and wanted to touch almost every one of them,” said the travel writer.

Tonguç said Tyler knew much about the 13th-century Persian mystic Rumi and whirling dervishes, adding that he read Dan Brown’s latest book “Inferno,” which ends in Istanbul.

According to Tonguç, Tyler was very upset by the disaster in Soma and when the time arrives, he wants to give a benefit concert for the relatives of the victims of the incident.

“I woke up this morning to the horrific news of the mining disaster in Soma,” Tyler said in a statement following the disaster. “My heartfelt prayers go out to those who have died, those who are still trapped and their families. We are holding the people of Turkey close to our hearts and respecting the three days of mourning for a saddened nation.”