Turkish Torch Bearer Carries Olympic Flame to Show Solidarity


Kushimoto, Wakayama Pref., April 10 (Jiji Press)--A Turkish woman ran as a Tokyo Olympic torch bearer in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, a western Japan town known for its friendly ties with Turkey.

"I hope that by seeing me run, people will see that we are together as one, even if our skin colors, languages and religions differ," Durna Ozkaya, 33, who works at the town government as a coordinator for international relations, said in Japanese before she ran on Friday.

The relationship between the southernmost town in Japan's Honshu main island and Turkey started when the Ottoman Empire naval frigate Ertugrul was shipwrecked in waters off the town in 1890.

Carrying members of a goodwill mission to Japan, the ship sank off the coast of Kushimoto after being hit by violent waves and wind from a typhoon.

Thanks to rescue operations by local residents and others, 69 of some 650 crew members were rescued.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press