a Message on the 131st Anniversary of the Ertugrul Frigate Disaster
A Message of Imam of the Tokyo Camii, Muhammet Rıfat Cinar, on the 131st Anniversary of the Ertugrul Frigate Disaster.
Prince Komatsu Akihito visited Istanbul while en route to Europe in 1887, met with Sultan Abdulhamid, and presented the Order of Chrysanthemum, which the Japanese Emperor Meiji sent. The Ottoman administration decided to send the Ertuğrul Frigate to Japan to respond in return to this trip and improve relations between the two countries.
After completing the mission in Japan, the Ertuğrul Frigate could not resist the storm and sank on 16 September 1890 by hitting the rocks off the Kushimoto town. Japanese lighthouse workers and villagers rescued the 69 crew. The Japanese treated the Ertuğrul survivors with close attention, and the 69 surviving sailors had been sent to Istanbul by two military ships, Hiei and Kongo, with the order of the Emperor of Japan. 527 soldiers and crew become martyrs, including the Head of the delegation, Major General Osman Pasha. After this tragic accident, the Ottoman Empire and the Japanese Empire got closer, and the foundation of Turkish-Japanese friendship was laid.
I commemorate Major General Osman Pasha, our 527 crew and soldiers, who became martyrs while fulfilling the duty assigned by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, with mercy, thankfulness, and gratitude on the 131st anniversary of this tragic accident. May their souls rest in peace, may their place be in heaven, and may their place be exalted.
I would like to thank the helpful Japanese people for their kindness to our veterans who survived this tragic accident with their fine treatment.
Muhammet Rıfat ÇINAR
Tokyo Camii İmam Hatibi