Underwater work in Ertuğrul frigate starts
BODRUM– Doğan News AgencyThe 2016 program of the underwater excavation of the Ertuğrul frigate, which sank near Japan’s city of Kushimoto and caused the death of 550 Turkish sailors, kicked off on Jan. 15 and will continue until Feb. 15.
At a press conference, held recently in the western province of Muğla’s Bodrum district, the Bodrum Culture and Arts Foundation (BOSAV) President and head of Ertuğrul frigate excavation, Tufan Turanlı, said excavation work had been ongoing in the frigate since 2007.
He said that the film “Ertuğrul 1890,” which was released last month, aroused interest; 11 exhibitions were opened in Turkey and Japan, and more than 800 news articles and TV programs talked about the tragic event.
Speaking about this year’s program, Turanlı said, “There are two brand new plans that we want to realize this year. First is to establish the Mobile Ertuğrul Laboratory to keep the memories of the Ertuğrul martyrs alive. We have been organizing educational and promotional events for students at the Ertuğrul Research Center in Kushimoto for years. We will organize the same events in other Japanese cities. Kushimoto is the very southern part of Honshu, the main island of Japan. Transportation to this mountainous city is hard. This is why we will establish the Mobile Ertuğrul Laboratory and carry the service to Japanese schools in other parts of the country. We want to make the Japanese youth love the sea and history as well as keep the martyrs’ memory alive. Our biggest wish is to bring this mobile lab to Turkey in the coming years for our students to study there.”
As for the other plan, Turanlı said, “In collaboration with the BOSAV, the Underwater Archaeology Institute, Dorak Tourism and the Turkish Airlines, we will enable Turks to visit Kushimoto and places where the frigate left its traces. We will start a new program called ‘In Traces of Ertuğrul’ in May. As the first guest of the program, Gülümser Yücel, 80, the granddaughter of Ertuğrul’s captain and the sister of famous poet Can Yücel, will go to Kushimoto to visit the place where her grandfather died.”
Yücel, who was present at the press conference, said that it was her dream to the land where her grandfather became a martyr, and continued:
“My mother was 12 years old when my grandfather died. We heard that he never left the frigate during the accident. But his body has not been found so far. My mother used to say that he went there for friendship but became food for sharks.”