- Country Profile
country profile Location Western end of the Asian continent Capital Ankara Population 71,158,647 (June 2007) Area 780,580㎢ (3.5 times the size of the Korean peninsula) Race composition Turkish (90%), Kurdish, Arabic and others Religion Muslim (99%) Form of government Republic system Language Turkish Currency Turkish Lira (TL) Independence Day
Oct. 29, 1923 (from Osman Empire) Date of diplomatic relationship established Mar. 8, 1957 Military attache establishment Jun. 1957 in Turkey, Sept. 1959 in Korea
- Key Roles
Except for the United States and the United Kingdom, Turkey and Canada were the only countries that dispatched brigade-level units.
Turkey once announced that they would remain neutral in the international affairs. By the end of World War II, however, Turkey took on a pro-west political policy, and, right after the outbreak of the Korean War, supported wholeheartedly the UN resolution of military support for Korea. Moreover, Turkey took immediate measures to dispatch more than 4,500 troops to Korea.
The Turkish Brigade that was dispatched to Korea was mainly the Turkish Army units, and included in the brigade were such branches as infantry, engineering, transportation, medical corps, and ordnance. Thus, the brigade could conduct its own independent operations. During the 2nd phase of Chinese attack in November 1950, the Turkish Army took part in Gunwuri Battle as a right-wing of the US 2nd Division, and in this battle suffered heavy casualties.
Particularly impressive in the battle was the Turkish soldiers’ bravery; when they were on the point of capture by the enemy they refused to become prisoners and attacked forward with their bayonets fixed.
Soon after Kunuri Battle, the Turkish Brigade recovered from the loss they suffered at Kunuri, and the brigade was assigned to the US 25th Division.
Afterwards, whenever they were engaged in battles, the brigade demonstrated their solidarity and strong will to fight in the battles. The Turkish Brigade took part in Operation Wolfhound and Operation Thunderbolt conducted by the US forces. Of course, the Turkish Brigade suffered casualties in these operations, but they inflicted 10 times more casualties on the enemy. Such a victory contributed a lot to giving a boost to the UN forces.
During the joint operations with the US forces, the Turkish Brigade had to go through a lot of difficulties. Among those difficulties, the communication problem was the most serious one, particularly when the battle situations changed rapidly and inaccurate interpretations brought grave losses to them.
Participation History Unit Participation Period Note
Sept. 1950 to Aug. 1951
Assigned to the US 25th division
Aug. 1951 to Aug. 1952
Aug. 1952 to Sept. 1953
Casualty Statistics Total KIA WIA MIA POW 3,216
- Key Battles
- Battle of Kunwu-ri
- Battle of Kimrayngjang & Hill 151
- Battle of Jangseungcheon
- Battle of Nevada Outpost
Battle of Kunwu-ri (80km North of Pyongyang; 1950. 11. 26)
Turkey soldiers who received
the Badge of Military Merit from
Lieutenant General Walker
just after the Battle of Kunwu-ri
This was the battle in which the Turkey Brigade fought against the Chinese Communist Army near Kunwu-ri. When the South Korean Force and U.N. Forces heading for the Korea and Manchuria borderline were in danger of losing Deokcheon - Youngwon line, the South Korean 2nd Army Corps' operation zone, due to the Chinese Communist offensive on Nov. 25, the Turkey Brigade that remained as a reserve force advanced to Deokcheon from Kunwu-ri. This Brigade had their path of retreat cut off by the Chinese Communist Army during the advance, and was surrounded by the Chinese Communist Army in a valley that was geographically unfavorable. The Brigade escaped the 13km distance of the valley after 2 days of struggle from Nov. 28 and retreated to Kunwu-ri. The Brigade again fiercely fought with the Chinese Communist Army occupying Kunwu-ri - Suncheon Valley and retreated to Pyongyang on Dec. 1. The Turkey Brigade lost many troops and equipments in this battle. However, as it delayed the Chinese Communist 38th Army Corps at Kunwu-ri - Deokcheon Valley for 3 days, the early cutoff of the retreat path for U.N. Forces stationed in the west of Kunwu-ri was avoided.
Battle of Kimrayngjang & Hill 151(20km East of Suwon; 1951. 1. 25~27)
Student’s writing in blood
sent from Turkey (We are always with you.)
This was the battle in which the Turkey Brigade fought against the 447th Regiment of the 149th Division and the 448th Regiment of the 150th Division under the command of the Chinese Communist 50th Army Corps. When the U.N. Forces stopped the Chinese Communist Offensive at the Pyeongtaek - Jecheon line and launched a counteroffensive, the Turkey Brigade dispatched from the Anseong - Songjeon line and launched an attack on Kimryangjang and Hill 151 on Jan. 25. As the Chinese Communist Army also built their strong defense position there at that time, the battle was fierce. After hitting the enemy hard with support from various fire powers and close-range air attack, the Turkey Brigade soldiers marched shouting their belief 'Allah' and captured Kimryangjang and Hill 151 on its west by defeating the Chinese Communist Army. The Turkey Brigade had little loss while accomplishing many achievements in this battle. This was the battle in which the Turkey Brigade restored its honor after their defeat in Kunwu-ri.
Battle of Jangseungcheon (5km Northeast of Yeoncheon; 1951. 4. 22~23)
This was the battle in which the Turkey Brigade fought against the Chinese Communist Army at Jangseungcheon, northeast of Yeoncheon. After the Battle of Kimryangjang, the Turkey Brigade continued to participate in the counteroffensive operation and advanced to the Jangseungcheon area, north of Yeoncheon, on Apr. 22, 1951 but they met with the Chinese Communist Spring Offensive (5th Offensive). As 2 Chinese Communist Army brigades attacked from both directions, both flanks of the Brigade collapsed and the Artillery Battalion position behind the battle zone was also threatened. Therefore, the Brigade used delay tactics through the cooperation between battalions such as the Battalion in the battle zone assisting the retreat of the Artillery Battalion and it was able to retreat 10km south to the Hantan River.
Battle of Nevada Outpost (10km Northwest of Gorangpo; 1953. 5. 28)
This was the battle in which the Turkey Brigade fought against the Chinese Communist Army 120th Division the last time before the cease-fire agreement was signed. The Chinese Communist Army attacked the Nevada outpost that the Turkey Brigade was defending with 2 brigades alternately on the night of May 28, 1953. In the battle that continued from the night until the next morning, the Brigade lost the Vegas hill 5 times but they recaptured it 5 times as well with counterattacks. However, the Carson outpost was captured by the enemy and the Elco outpost was barely kept. The Brigade fiercely fought in this battle with heavy casualty. As the Chinese Communist Army's offensive continued, the Division decided not to have further casualties and approved the retreat from the Nevada Hill, and the Brigade retreated from this outpost.
After the cease-fire agreement, the Turkey Brigade left in the summer of 1954 except 1 company. The remaining company left in 1966 while leaving only Honor Guard Squad and Honor Guard Squad which left in Jun. 1971