Film on Ertuğrul frigate to be released in December
ISTANBUL – Anadolu AgencyA film featuring historic moments in Japanese-Turkish relations is set to premiere in December, while the teaser and poster of the film, titled “Ertuğrul 1890,” were recently released.
According to a written statement, the Turkey-Japan co-production tells two stories of solidarity, set in 1890 in Kushimoto and 1985 in Tehran.
One of the stories is the touching story of the Ertuğrul Frigate, which sank in 1890 off the coast of Japan. The Ertuğrul Frigate was sent by Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II to give a gift to the Japanese emperor. While returning from the voyage, the frigate encountered a typhoon off the coast of the Wakayama Prefecture and sank on Sept. 16, 1890. The accident resulted in the loss of 533 sailors.
The other story is the rescue of 215 Japanese citizens during the Iran-Iraq war in 1985 upon the order of the Turkish prime minister of the time, Turgut Özal. The film will be released in Japan on Dec. 5 and in Turkey on Dec. 25. Filming for “Ertuğrul 1890” started in December 2014 in Japan. The film was produced by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry in collaboration with the Japanese Ertuğrul Film Partners and line producer Böcek Film.
The script was written by Eriko Komatsu with the consultancy of Prof. İskender Pala. Turkish actors Kenan Ece, Alican Yücesoy, Uğur Polat, Mehmet Özgür, Tamer Levent, Melis Babadağ, Murat Serezli, Deniz Oral, Hakkı Haluk Cömert, Cem Cücenoğlu, Erkan Pekbay, Mert Aygün and Alper Düzen, while Japanese actors Seiyo Uchino, Shioli Kutsuna, Naoto Takenaka, Yui Natsukawa, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Takashi Sasano and Yukiyoshi Ozawa will also be in the film, which was the first film produced jointly by Turkey and Japan. This year Turkey and Japan celebrate the 125th year of their friendship.
Director Mitsutoshi Tanaka
Director Mitsutoshi Tanaka said the idea for the film emerged 10 years ago when one of his friends from Kushimoto Island, where the accident occurred, showed him a letter written by Ottoman diplomats at the time.
He also said he had been working on the project for many years while searching for support.
Tanaka says the actors had very emotional
moments during the shooting of the film.
The director said he went to Kushimoto to attend the 120th anniversary ceremony of the Ertuğrul frigate disaster.
“Villagers gathered for the ceremony. Among a group of 750 people, two people took the stage and started crying. They said Turks rescued them from Tehran in 1985. They came from Tokyo for the ceremony. This moment was like a film scene. The people of Kushimoto asked for this film the most,” Tanaka said.
After beginning filming last year in Japan, Tanaka said they received the greatest support from the Japanese and Turkish peoples.
“During the shooting in Kushimoto, Japanese women cooked Turkish dishes for Turkish women and Turkish actors cooked Japanese dishes for Japanese actors. The people of Kushimoto worked on the film voluntarily. They were all crying during the filming,” Tanaka said, adding that he did his best to make a film that would touch both the Turkish and Japanese people.
The film’s Japan gala was organized with the participation of thousands of people, although the will film will not formally premiere in Tokyo premiere until Dec. 1. Before that, the film would be screened in Kushimoto between Nov. 22 and 24 three times a day, the director said. He also said they would organize a special screening for granddaughters of those who rescued the Ottoman soldiers 125 years ago.