Ertuğrul exhibition opens in Istanbul
DHA PhotoThe Istanbul Naval Museum is hosting a new exhibition, displaying more than 500 of 8,300 items that have been unearthed during excavation works on the Ertuğrul Frigate, an Ottoman military ship that sank off Japan in 1890.
The exhibition, which opened on April 2, displays pieces of the Ertuğrul frigate, ship components, pieces of dinner sets and belongings of officers.
The Ertuğrul was sent by Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II to give gifts to the Japanese emperor but sank on Sept. 16, 1890, after encountering a typhoon off the coast of Wakayama Prefecture in the Pacific Ocean. The accident resulted in the loss of 533 sailors.
Salvage works started six years ago on the frigate. The restoration and conservation of 500 pieces was completed at the Underwater Archaeology Institute in the southwestern province of Muğla’s Bodrum district.
The head of the excavations, Tufan Turanlı, said the Ertuğrul frigate had returned to its homeland, 125 years after its ill-fated voyage.
“The frigate, which went to Japan with a mission of friendship, broke into pieces on the rocks of Oshima Island and sank. The personal belongings of our officers and soldiers that we have removed from the frigate during many years of work are being displayed in the exhibition. It is very important to revive the memories of our officers and for the relations of both countries,” Turanlı said.
“Visitors to the exhibition will feel the self-devotion of those officers in the frigate, which is the keystone of Turkish-Japanese relations,” Tufanlı said.
He said most of the Ertuğrul frigate’s items were still in the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Institute Laboratory and that other items were under restoration and conservation in the Ertuğrul Frigate Institute.
Underwater images to be shown in November
The Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Institute Director Tuba Ekmekçi said they had so far conducted conservation and restoration work on thousands of years of sunken wrecks in the Aegean and Mediterranean.
“But for the first time we have cleaned and restored the belongings of a Turkish frigate and Turkish soldiers for the exhibition. This made us so proud and excited. I am sure the rescued items from the Ertuğrul frigate that have been prepared in Bodrum will receive great attention in the exhibition. Also, the underwater images of the items in the exhibition will be shown in Turkey and Japan in November 2015. Significant pieces in the film on the Ertuğrul frigate will also be displayed in the exhibition,” she said.
The main sponsor of the exhibition is the Mersin Naval Trade Chamber and Turkish Airlines, while the project was made possible by the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum.
The opening of the event drew the commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, Adm. Bülent Bostanoğlu, Japanese Ambassador to Ankara Yutaka Yokoi and Naval Museum Commander Col. İlyas Güntaş and other guests.
The exhibition will continue until the end of the year.