Frigate Ertuğrul’s remains on display

Frigate Ertuğrul’s remains on display

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Frigate Ertuğrul’s remains on display

The remains of the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul is on display in museums in Japan. Hürriyet photo

The remains of the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul, which was a sailing frigate of the Ottoman Navy, sank while returning from a goodwill voyage from Japan in 1890. The sunken shipwreck has been displayed for one month at the Sea Museum in Osaka, Japan and will continue to exhibit in other Japanese cities.

The exhibition in Osaka drew a total of 100,000 visitors. Following the request of the Japanese Culture Ministry, the exhibition will continue in Yokohama next month, followed by a move to Wakayama, where a cemetery for 550 Turkish soldiers was discovered.

“Our aim is to strengthen our friendship with Japan via these exhibitions,” Tufan Turanlı, the excavation project president, said to Doğan news agency.

On Sept. 15, 1890 at noon, Ertuğrul set sail from Yokohama for Constantinople. A reverse wind began to blow, getting stronger toward evening. By nightfall, the wind came from below the bow so that the sails had to be folded. At the same time, violent waves in the rabid sea began beating against the ship, which, under severe trial, could hardly make headway. The high mizzen mast collapsed and caused severe damage by shaking from side to side and banging into the other rigging sails. While the storm continued gaining power, waves coming from the bow separated the deck boards from the front.

Despite all the efforts, the ship’s disintegration was imminent and the only option was seeking sanctuary in a nearby port. They headed to Kobe, within 16 km of the ship, in the gulf beyond the Kashinozaki Cape, which housed Oshima Lighthouse. Seawater breaking through finally extinguished one of the furnaces in the engine room. Almost immobile, without main sails and sufficient propulsion, and having only the wind and the waves behind, Ertuğrul drifted toward the dangerous rocks at the eastern coast of Oshima Island. As the crew tried to stop the ship before reaching the rocks by emergency anchoring, the ship hit the reefs and fell apart at the first impact around midnight on Sept. 18, 1890