The Turkish memorial and museum are a tourist attraction in the Wakayama Prefecture. The place ranks first on the list of must-see local attractions. It is also the third most visited place.
The Memorial and Museum of Turkey (ト ル コ 軍艦 遭難 記念 碑) is located in Kii Oshima on Kushimoto city, Wakayama Province, the monument is a tribute to the sailors on the battleship of the frigate Otamano Ertuğrul, who was shipwrecked in 1890 in Japan, where 587 sailors died.
With the ceremony in memory of the victims of the Turkish warship, the friendship between the city of Kushimoto and the Republic of Turkey deepened, and the Turkish Memorial was built as proof of that goodwill.
The main reason why Turkey is so pre-Japanese is that it is famous for its dedicated rescue efforts in this case, an incident surprisingly unknown to the Japanese in Japan, including the memorial, but it is a relatively famous incident in Turkey.
In the 20th year of the Meiji Era, Emperor Komatsunomiya Akihito visited Istanbul on his way home after a trip through Europe and had an audience with the Ottoman Emperor of Turkey (Sultan).
In response, the 2.344-ton Ertuğrul ship built in 1863 by the Ottoman Navy was dispatched. He left Istanbul on 14 July 1889 with more than 600 sailors and officers on board for an official visit to Japan.
The Ship arrived at Yokohama Port on 7 June and left Yokohama on 16 September 1890, to return to Istanbul, after a three-month stay. Around midnight on September 16, due to a typhoon, it was dragged to the rocky reef, where the wooden ship was destroyed and wrecked, 587 sailors died and 69 crew members were miraculously saved by local residents, six officers and sixty-six three sailors survived, most of them injured. They were treated in Kobe and then sent to Turkey on the “Kongo” and “Hiei” warships at the behest of Emperor Meiji.
In the museum, objects initially recovered from the wreckage by fishermen, belongings and photos of the ship's officers and sailors, a model of the Turkish warship Ertugrul, as well as relics and old documents of the time, Turkish folk crafts are also on display.
Later, a corner was added to the museum dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Items sent from Mersin and Yakakent (Turkey) are also on display at the museum.
Em February from 1891, 150 bodies recovered from the wreckage were buried in a newly created cemetery. On 15 September from 1891, the first anniversary of the disaster, a monument was erected 400 meters away at the accident site, near Kushimoto's Kashinozaki Lighthouse.
A second memorial stone was erected by the Japanese and Turkish Commercial Association on 5 April 1929 and visited by Emperor Hirohito on 3 June the same year. After this information reached Turkey, his government proposed a new monument. Construction started on 22 October 1936, and the inauguration ceremony took place on 3 June 1937 attended by the Turkish ambassador.
On the second floor of the lighthouse, you can see the rocks that the ship hit, losing more than 587 lives. It was a very painful incident, but it is considered the origin of the friendship between Japan and Turkey.
Entrance Monument and Lighthouse: Free
Adult Museum: 500 yen / Children (6 to 18 years): 250 yen
Museum Schedule: 9:00 to 17:00
Parking: Free (84 places)
Wakayama-ken Higashimuro Kushimoto-cho Kashino