Turkish ambassador visits Hiroshima mayor and tours Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

by Hajime Niiyama, Staff Writer

On January 31, the Turkish ambassador to Japan, Selim Sermet Atacanli, 57, visited the city of Hiroshima. Mr. Atacanli met with Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and listened to the account of an A-bomb survivor (hibakusha).

At Mayor Akiba's request for cooperation in the efforts of the city for the elimination of nuclear weapons, Mr. Atacanli responded, "We would like to lend our positive support." He then made a tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Guided by Toshihiko Kunishige, the deputy director of the museum, Mr. Atacanli carefully looked at the panoramic models depicting the city before and after the atomic bombing.

At the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, Mr. Atacanli listened to the A-bomb experience of Shizuko Abe, 82, including the aftereffects she has suffered.

"I was shocked more than ever by the horror of the atomic bombing," said Mr. Atacanli. "In my private life, too, I will tell people about my experience of visiting Hiroshima so that many others will also come here."

Mr. Atacanli had expressed his hope to visit Hiroshima in conjunction with a speech he is delivering in the city of Kyoto.

(Originally published on February 1, 2010)