Plane hailing Turk-Japanese bond completes the 1st flight
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
For the flight, ‘Kushimoto’ was replicated from a Turkish Airlines plane that rescued 215 Japanese citizens from Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war. AA PhotoA Turkish Airlines (THY) plane named after a Japanese town where dozens of Ottoman sailors were rescued in 1890 has landed at an airport near Tokyo, one day before the premiere of a movie telling a dramatic tale of Turkish-Japanese historic friendship.
For the special flight, “Kushimoto” crew wore the same uniforms as they did in 1985, when a Turkish Airlines plane rescued 215 Japanese citizens from Tehran on the orders of Turkey’s then-president, Turgut Özal, during the Iran-Iraq war.
The film “Ertuğrul 1890” depicts the historic events that fostered Turkish-Japanese friendship.
A statement released on Nov. 30 by THY said those on board the Kushimoto included “the brave cabin attendants who were onboard the original plane 30 years ago.”
The flight was greeted by a welcome ceremony at Narita Airport where Junichi Numata and Teruji Takahoshi, who were rescued from Tehran, handed bouquets of Turkish bellflowers to the crew.
“Remembering that time 30 years ago, we Japanese were left behind in Tehran in a very desperate situation, with no airplane carrier willing to let us board,” Numata said during the ceremony. “Amid Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s warnings of indiscriminate attacks in Iran’s airspace, Turkey dispatched the emergency planes and came to rescue us,” he added.