Artifacts from Ertuğrul frigate continue to amaze
BODRUM – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoA significant portion of the conservation of items removed from the Ertuğrul frigate this year has been completed.
The Ertuğrul frigate, which went to Japan with a mission of friendship, sank near the Japanese city of Kushimoto after breaking into pieces on the rocks of the island of Oshima on Sept. 18, 1890, causing the death of 550 Turkish sailors.
The artifacts, which have been underwater for 116 years, are being removed from the frigate as part of the Ertuğrul Project underwater excavations.
The excavations were started nine years ago by the Bodrum Culture and Art Foundation (BOSAV), under project head Tufan Turanlı and deputy head Spanish archaeologist Bertha Lledo.
This year’s works started on Jan. 15 and continued for three weeks, 200 meters off the coast of Japan at a depth of 30-45 meters.
Conservation of most of the 450 artifacts unearthed from the frigate this year was recently completed by Turkish and Japanese conservationists.
Among the cleaned artifacts are mines, officers’ belongings, wrist pins, Ottoman-era porcelain plates, the frigate’s iron and wooden parts, door handles, taps and balls.
Artifacts to travel Turkey
“The artifacts that have been unearthed from Ertuğrul since 2007 were promoted to the world in 11 exhibitions, as well as more than 800 news articles and television programs in Turkey and Japan,” said Lledo.
“We started this year’s excavations too fast. Dozens of artifacts that we found three or four months ago amaze us as their conservation is finished. Our primary goal is to reach the frigates safely, to establish the Mobile Ertuğrul Laboratory this year, to revive the memories of Ertuğrul’s martyrs, and to display them around all parts of Turkey. We want to explain to everyone the Turkish-Japanese friendship created by our officers who lost their lives while taking peace to another part of the world under the circumstances of that time,” she added.