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  • Yoon Su-hyeon

[Feature] Brotherhood From The War

No.164 / Jun 12, 2023

The 2017 film Ayla: The Daughter of War is a story of a Turkish soldier Schliemann, who was sent to the Republic of Korea (ROK) in June 1950 in response to the aggression of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In the movie, his family dissuades him, but he joins the troop deployment, insisting that the ROK needs his country’s help and that his country needs him. Schliemann was put into the war in earnest in the Battle of Gunwoori and finds a little girl left all by herself. Schliemann and his colleagues named the child who is unable to speak because of the shock of losing his parents, Ayla. Thanks to his warm care, Ayla could speak again, and she gradually recovers from the shock of war. They were able to meet again 60 years after the war. The movie is based on a true story, and it captures how dedicated Turkish troops were to South Korea.

Although over 40 years have passed since the ROK and the DPRK agreed on the truce for the Korean War, it is still important to commemorate the people who fought in the war to remember their sacrifices. The ROK is grounded in their devotion and people should not take our society for granted. In all, 21 countries from around the world came to fight for and help South Korea when communists from North Korea invaded on June 25, 1950, which started the Korean War. The ROK is the only country lucky enough to have received help from 21 countries that belonged to the United Nations (UN).

As it is shown in the movie Ayla: The Daughter of War, South Korea received much help and love from Türkiye during the Korean War: 21,212 Turkish troops participated in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, and the Turkish government continued to send Turkish troops to Korea from 1954 to 1971 to serve as members of the UN forces. A total of 56,536 Turkish soldiers were on duty in South Korea, and 892 were killed. In the Korean War, the Turkish army fought against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army several times, defeating them each time. While the U.S. military had the highest number of absolute casualties in total, it is said that the Turkish military had the highest ratio of casualties to the number of troops dispatched. They fought for the ROK with dignity and bravery.

Many people in the ROK have a special attachment to and appreciation specifically for Türkiye. Türkiye is known to be the “Brother country” for South Koreans. During the war, Turkish troops collected 5 dollars each from their wages to support South Korean children who had lost their parents. It all started by taking care of and feeding a few children in their camp and eventually the help expanded to building an orphanage. Ankara Orphanage was established with the help and military supplies that the Turkish soldiers donated. About 640 children who became orphans gained a new life through the orphanage, and it is remembered as a significant support from Türkiye to South Korea. Today, South Korea has been able to show its support for Türkiye by assisting it in its recent earthquake crisis. Brotherhood was shared throughout the war, and the ROK and Türkiye are continuing their precious and honorable relationship.


By Yoon Su-hyeon, AG Cub Reporter

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