The commander of Japanese Naval Forces, Admiral Masahiko Sugimoto, met with his Turkish counterpart Admiral Esref Ugur Yigit as part of his formal visit to Ankara.
Admiral Yigit told reporters prior to the meeting that there had been rooted relations between the two countries dating back to the visit of the Ottoman Empire's Ertugrul frigate to Japan 121 years ago.
"Our martyrs rest in peace in friendly waters of Japan," he said, and recalled that Japan was one of the first countries that rushed to help Turkey during the massive quake disaster of 1999 which left thousands of people dead.
Japanese commander, in his part, said that it was a Turkish Airlines (THY) plane which saved Japanese people who were stranded in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war.
"I believe that my visit will contribute to development of our bilateral relations," he said.
The Ertugrul Frigate which was sent to Japan by Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid II as a sign of good will in 1890, reached Japan after an arduous journey, that lasted 11 months. However, on its way back to Ottoman Empire, the frigate hit the reef near Island Oshima, southern Japan, and sunk with its 630 mariners in a typhoon. People of Oshima village saved the lives of 69 mariners and buried the martyries.
AALast Mod: 03 Şubat 2011, 14:16