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Turkish Naval Corvette TCG Kinaliada Visits Japan to Commemorate 100 Years of Diplomatic Ties

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Turkish Naval Corvette TCG Kinaliada Visits Japan to Commemorate 100 Years of Diplomatic Ties

The Turkish warship’s visit also marks the 134th anniversary of the tragic voyage of the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul, which sank off the coast of Japan in 1890.

Turkish Naval Corvette TCG Kinaliada Visits Japan to Commemorate 100 Years of Diplomatic Ties

Turkey’s TCG Kinaliada corvette reached Kushimoto in Wakayama Prefecture of Japan on June 8, 2024.

Credit: Taki Yoshihisa

A Turkish Navy corvette, TCG Kinaliada, has made a port of call visit to Japan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations and the 134th anniversary of the tragic legacy of the Ertugrul frigate’s voyage, which became the starting point of Turkish-Japanese friendship and goodwill.

On June 8, the Turkish Naval Forces’ fourth and final Ada-class corvette, the TCG Kinaliada (F-514), arrived in Kushimoto, a local town of historical significance in Turkish-Japanese relations located at the southernmost tip of the Kii Peninsula in Wakayama Prefecture of Japan.

On September 16, 1890, the Ottoman Empire battleship Ertuğrul ran aground and sank during a stormy night in a typhoon off the coast of Kushimoto. More than 500 crew members were thrown overboard and died, but local residents managed to rescue 69 survivors and nursed them back to health. The Meiji Emperor ordered the Japanese government to assign two Imperial Japanese Navy vessels, the Hiei and the Kongo, to take the survivors back to Istanbul. 

This tragic voyage of the Ertuğrul frigate 134 years ago became a milestone of Turkish-Japanese friendship, and has even been mentioned in Turkish history textbooks.

During the Kinaliada’s latest port call at Kushimoto, its crew attended a ceremony at a memorial dedicated to the martyrs of Ertugrul on June 10. Princess Akiko of Mikasa, president of the Japan-Turkey Society and eldest daughter of the late Prince Tomohito, also attended.

In her speech at the ceremony, Princess Akiko said, “I pray that the history of friendship built by our many predecessors will continue for many years to come.” 

Following its port call at Kushimoto, the 99-meter corvette visited Tokyo on June 12. The Turkish warship is scheduled be opened to the public on June 14 and 15 when it is docked at Tokyo’s International Cruise Terminal.

In addition, the Kure District Headquarters of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) announced on June 7 on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that the TCG Kinaliada will call at the JMSDF Kure Naval Base in Hiroshima Prefecture on June 19 and will be open to the public on that day.

On April 8, the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced that the Kinaliada had departed from Foca Naval Base in the country’s west bound for East Asia. All told, the 2,400-ton warship will visit 20 countries during its four-and-a-half-month voyage and will also support anti-piracy efforts, it said. 

Before coming to Japan, the Kinaliada visited Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Somalia, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, and South Korea. After Japan, it will visit ports in the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Jordan.

According to Turkish media, this is the fifth visit by a Turkish warship to the Asia-Pacific region, following the TCG Turgutreis (F-241) in 1990 and 2000, the TCG Gemlik (F-492) in 2011, and the TCG Gediz (F-495) in 2015.

The TCG Kinaliada is attracting a lot of attention among Japanese military officials and military enthusiasts, as Turkey is currently building two anti-submarine stealth corvettes for the Ukrainian Navy, based on the Ada-class corvettes to which the Kinaliada belongs.

In October 2022, Turkish shipbuilder RMK Marine launched the first MilGem (Ada)-class corvette on order for Ukraine, Hetman Ivan Mazepa (F-211), at its shipyard in Tuzla, Istanbul. The term “Milgem” stands for “Milli Gemi” in Turkish, meaning “National Ship.”