South Korea's Consulate General in Istanbul held a ceremony on Friday to show the country's gratitude to and honor the Turkish veterans of the Korean War.
Speaking at the ceremony that was held at the Military Museum in Istanbul's Harbiye, consul general Keewon Hong said: "We will never forget the sacrifices made by the Turkish veterans of the Korean War who fought with great bravery and their relatives".
Underlining that some 65 years have passed since the war ended, Hong said that the two countries maintained their partnership and cooperation in several areas such as politics and economy, while working with each other as strategic partners in plenty of fields, namely politics, economy, culture and defense.
Economic cooperation between Turkey and South Korea has been developing over the years, with the trade volume between the two countries reaching 7 million dollars in 2017 most recently. Moreover, around 160 South Korean companies are currently operating in the country. Hong also said that an estimated 160,000 South Korean tourists are expected to visit Turkey as of the end of this year.
Consul general Hong also met with the relatives of the veterans on Wednesday.
"I felt the pain of sending a relative or a husband to the faraway lands of Korea for peace and freedom deep inside when I thought of how concerned they were and how many times they must have prayed during those times. We are going to make great effort to pass this noble act and spirit on to next generations," said Hong.
The deputy governor of Istanbul, İsmail Gültekin also highlighted the two countries' important strategic partnership that would hopefully continue for many more years.
The veterans also underlined the importance of not forgetting the history the two countries share and pass it on to the next generations.
Turkey joined the Korean War under U.N. Command during 1950 and 1953 in efforts to support South Korea in its struggle for freedom, democracy and independence, during which a total of 741 Turkish troops were killed. The number of Turkish troops was the second highest among the U.N.-led bloc.