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Work on the Ertuğrul frigate starts in Kushimoto, Japan

Underwater excavation of the Ertuğrul frigate which sank near Japan’s city of Kushimoto began on January 15 and will continue until February 15.

Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul set sail on a goodwill voyage to Japan 1890. While returning she encountered a typhoon off the coast of Wakayama Prefecture and sank. 533 sailors, including Admiral Ali Osman Pasha died died following the event. The Ertuğrul’s voyage is still commemorated as a foundation stone of Japanese-Turkish friendship.

“There are two brand new plans that we want to realise this year. First is to establish the Mobile Ertuğrul Laboratory to keep the memories of the Ertuğrul martyrs alive,” Bodrum Culture and Arts Foundation (BOSAV) President and head of Ertuğrul frigate excavation, Tufan Turanlı stated.

“We have been organizing educational and promotional events for students at the Ertuğrul Research Center in Kushimoto for years. We will organize the same events in other Japanese cities. Kushimoto is the very southern part of Honshu, the main island of Japan.

“Transportation to this mountainous city is hard. This is why we will establish the Mobile Ertuğrul Laboratory and carry the service to Japanese schools in other parts of the country.

“We want to make the Japanese youth love the sea and history as well as keep the martyrs’ memory alive.  Our biggest wish is to bring this mobile lab to Turkey in the coming years for our students to study there.” 

Work on the sunken frigate has been on going since 2007. The film Ertuğrul 1890 released last month has reignited interest in the event both in Turkey and Japan.

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