A Japanese-Turkish production, Ertugrul 1890, which was commissioned and produced by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism's Cinema Directorate, has opened at Turkish theaters on Friday, almost one month after it was premiered in Japan.
The movie depicts the fate of 69 Ottoman sailors who were rescued by Japanese villagers in Kashinozaki, after the frigate Ertugrul sank off an island close to the town of Kushimoto with 602 sailors on board on September 16, 1890.
The frigate was sent by Abdulhamid II, the 34th Sultan of Ottoman Empire, in order to present a gift to the Japanese Emperor Meiji.
The story of 215 Japanese citizens who were rescued from Tehran in 1985 during the Iran-Iraq War on the orders of the Turkish President Turgut Ozal is also dramatized in the movie which is directed by Japanese director Mitsutoshi Tanaka and written by Eriko Komatsu.
Speaking after the premiere, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu praised those who contributed to the production saying “It represents the historic friendship between Turkey and Japan in a touching way.”
Previously on October 8, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also congratulated those who worked on the movie during a commemoration ceremony organized in Japan.
"The Japanese government and the people of Kushimoto helped the injured sailors, making the saga became a milestone in historic friendly relations between Turkey and Japan," Erdogan said during his speech at Waseda University in Tokyo.
"We are two great nations, two countries located in far west and east of Asia who protected its cultural heritage up to now."
The movie’s director Mitsutoshi Tanaka also said "I wanted future generations to know this friendship; I did my best for a movie Turks and Japanese would be moved by."