TURKEY

Erdoğan to attend Japan emperor's enthronement ceremony

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2nd L) speaks with Japan's Emperor Naruhito (2nd R) and Empress Masako (R) beside his wife Emine Erdogan (L) upon their arrival at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on July 1, 2019 (AFP)

The Turkish president said Saturday he will attend the enthronement ceremony of Japanese Emperor Naruhito slated for Oct. 22.

"We will attend the enthronement ceremony of the emperor in Japan on Oct. 21-22," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told at the opening ceremony of Odunpazari Modern Art Museum in central Eskisehir province.

On May 1, Japanese Emperor Naruhito acceded the throne after his father and former Emperor Akihito abdicated a day earlier.

Erdoğan also said on the location of the museum that Odunpazari is included in UNESCO's temporary list of World Heritage sites, and added that Eskisehir is one of the best destinations for such a museum, as the city hosted ancient civilizations and bears their traces.

He said that the museum is a modern interpretation of Japanese and Ottoman architecture.

Erdoğan said start of flights from Tokyo's Haneda airport to Turkey last week would bring a reasonable rise in number of Japanese tourists.

Erdoğan noted that his government and he had been exerting efforts to have Turkey reach the well-deserved level in culture and arts, and said: "We have built the largest library of the country inside the Presidential Complex."

He said the library is set to open on Oct. 29, Turkey's Republic Day.

Erdoğan said the Rami Artillery Quarter in Istanbul will be converted into the largest library in the metropolitan city, and it will be among the most important libraries not only in Turkey but also in the world.

Among the attendees were Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turan, Turkey's Ambassador to Tokyo Murat Mercan.

Japan's Ambassador to Ankara Akio Miyajima, and former ambassador Atsuko Toyama were also present at the ceremony and delivered speeches.

Miyajima, for his part, expressed belief that the museum would increase Eskisehir's attraction and contribute to bilateral ties.

The museum, designed by well-known Japanese architectural office Kengo Kuma & Associates, features Ottoman dome architecture, traditional Japanese architecture and Odunpazari civilian architecture.

Training programs, seminars, artist meetings, workshops and dynamic exhibition programs are planned to be held in the museum to improve cultural development.

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