Concert dedicated to Turkish-Japanese ties held in NYC

By Dildar Baykan

NEW YORK (AA) – A concert dedicated to true historic events that hail Turkish-Japanese friendship and call for world peace was held in New York’s Carnegie Hall on Thursday.

Founded by Turkish maestro Gurer Aykal and conducted by Japanese Seiji Mukaiyama, New Manhattan Sinfonietta Orchestra gave a concert titled “A Call for World Peace”.

The New Manhattan Sinfonietta Orchestra was also backed by the Turkish and American Arts Society of New York.

Over 50 musicians from various countries including Turkey, Japan, and the U.S. are participating in the orchestra.

The first part of the concert was about an incident in 1985, when a Turkish Airlines flight rescued 213 Japanese nationals who were stranded in Tehran during the Iraqi-Iran war.

Junichi Numata, a Japanese passenger who was on that very flight, and Manolya Komutan and Ayse Ozalp from the cabin crew narrated their memories to the audience after the first session.

– Ertugrul Frigate

The second part of the concert focused on the story of Ertugrul Frigate, an incident seen as the starting point of the Turkey-Japanese bond.

The bond was formed during the Ottoman era when the frigate Ertugrul sank off the coast of Japan as it returned from a goodwill visit in 1890.

Nearly 600 lost their lives but Japan’s rescue effort and the support shown to survivors sealed friendly ties between the peoples of both countries.

The last session featured a chorus singing for the sailors on the frigate.

Turkey's Ambassador in Washington Serdar Kilic, Turkish Consul General in New York Alper Aktas, and Japanese ambassador in Washington Shinsuke Sugiyama attended the concert.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency after the concert, composer Mukaiyama said that his aim was to tell the story of the Turkish-Japanese friendship to as many people as possible.

“Turks showed that [they] did not forget the kindness we made for them around 100 years after. I will continue to tell the story of these people who risked their lives for others,” Mukaiyama added.

Maestro Gurer Aykal said: “Holding these concerts should be our first duty, especially at a time where people who want to have peace in the world are the majority.”

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