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The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Commentary by Professor Mahmut Esat Ozan  
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 Professor Mahmut Esat Ozan has been the rare, tireless voice in the United States, putting up his dukes in the sea of Turcophobes for many years. Here is a commentary that appeared in The Turkish Times.


Don’t Let the World Forget the Turkish Heroes of Korea

True Friends of the Turkish Nation

As a Turkish-American and a long time resident of this country, I often find myself compelled to extend my most sincere appreciation to the members of the U.S. Congress, when they take a courageous stand in the defense of the Turkish government and of the nation. I wish that the expression of my appreciation would include, in the future, the names of some members of the U.S. Senate as well. I cannot, nevertheless, agree with those who belittle the friendly and beneficial functions of these friends of the Turks, such as Congressmen Robert Wexler (Dem., Florida), David Hobson (Rep., Ohio) and John P. Murtha (Dem., Pennsylvania).

The recent statements made by these three gentlemen have been very gratifying indeed. I personally feel indebted to them. However, at this special 50th Anniversary issue commemorating the Korean War. I’d like to talk about Congressman Murtha’s kind reference to the legendary bravery and heroism of the Turkish soldiers during that span of time 1950-53. Had it not been for the kind gesture of Mr. Vural Cengiz, a Vice President of ATAA, based in Atlanta, Georgia, I may have missed reading this information sent to me while I was away and unable to follow the Internet news for a while. The statement made by Rep. John P. Murtha, came in very handy, since I was preparing an article on that very subject for my next column. First, I would like to reprint here those exceptionally moving and gratifying words of Rep. John Murtha of the 12th District, Pennsylvania. They were spoken at the United States Congress, in Washington, on June 27, 2000. This repetition is for those who have not had access to them previously. His words are unlike the ones the U.S Congress is accustomed to hear. In an atmosphere imbued with constant hostile speeches made against the Government of Turkey by the bootlicking legislator lobbyists of Greek and Armenian persuasion and/or interest, at a time which it seems to be more fashionable to attack Turks than, heaven forbid, defend them, here is what Congressman Murtha said:


 A Speech Few Dared to Make


“Mr. Speaker, as someone who joined the Marine Corps during the Korean War, I’ve always felt strongly about our allies in Turkey. As we mark the 50-year anniversary of the start of the Korean War on June 25th, the Turkish military’s bravery deserves great praise. The Turkish Brigade demonstrated superior combat capability and courage from the moment it entered the battlefield in October 1950 through the cease-fire agreement of July 1953.
Turkey provided the fifth largest contingent among United Nations forces—5,453 soldiers at the peak of the war. The Turkish Brigade is credited with saving the U.S. 8th Army and the IX Army Corps from encirclement by communist enemies, and the 2nd Division from total destruction during critical battles in November 1950.

The United Nations’ Forces Commander in Chief General Douglas MacArthur said: “Turks are the heroes of heroes. There is no ‘impossibility’ for the Turkish Brigade.”

No enemy attack succeeded in penetrating the Turkish Brigade, while British and American forces were forced to withdraw from defensive lines.

Even though out of ammunition, the Turks affixed their bayonets and attacked the enemy, eventually in hand-to-hand combat. The Turks succeeded in withdrawing in continuous combat and carrying their injured comrades from the battlefield on their backs.
Among the twenty U.N. members contributing military forces in Korea, Time Magazine praised the Turkish Brigade for its courageous battles and for ‘creating a favorable effect on the whole United Nations Forces.’ A US radio commentary in December 1950 thanked the Turkish Brigade’s heroism for giving hope for a demoralized American

Although the Korean War is often called ‘the Forgotten War,’ partly because it ended inconclusively with no real winner, the fierce combat ability of the Turkish Brigade should never be forgotten. The 717 Turkish soldiers killed in action, and the 2,413 wounded in action, represent the highest casualty rate of any U.N. element engaged in the fighting. The simple white grave markers in a green field in Pusan will eternally remind us of the heroic soldiers of a heroic nation.”

An Admonishment of the U.S. Media

While we are beholden to the graceful words of Congressman Murtha, we should at the same time find reasons to admonish the U.S. Media for their lack of sensitivity concerning the coverage of not only the heroism shown by the Turkish soldiers in Korea, but also the help they provided for a “demoralized America.” Herein lies the justification for a complaint we should lodge against them. It has been. all along, a sad commentary to invoke this protest against the American News Media. They have totally ignored the unforgettable part played and the immeasurable sacrifices made by the Turkish volunteer Brigade in that distant land.

During the last five decades of my stay in this country, I literally had dozens of encounters with U.S. Veterans of the Korean War, who, upon learning my Turkish background could not refrain themselves from volunteering their incredible experiences with those ‘fierce and fearless Turks.’ My over-all impression gotten from these encounters is that, when the common U.S. soldier met his Turkish counterpart in that desolate place during an unpopular war, he knew, right away, that he had gotten acquainted with a totally different kind of human being, and a different caliber of fighting man. Devoid of any exaggera­tion their anecdotes could easily fill a volume or two. Most everyone is unaware of the military folklore dealing with the Korean War. It is replete with count­less stories collected by U.S. Korean War veterans who met the Turks personally. The American fighting men’s first-hand experiences dealing with the Turks and the opinion they formed of them in the frozen fields of Korea, is quite impressive. The invaluable help they received from these courageous Turks, transforms into an unforgettable legend. Yet, to this day, an unappreciative American Press has been summarily choosing to ignore the realities of the past. While, on the one hand, the U.S government’s Congressional Record praises the Turks’ “extraordinary heroism, singleness of purpose, and their magnificent fighting spirit,” the American Media, on the other hand, are busy feeding the public something more ruthless than lies: Silence! Ignoring credit where credit is due becomes somewhat worse. They, by deliberately ignoring this phase of the Korean conflict, have been indirectly helping the many detractors of the Turks who, I am certain, are chuckling with joy every time the true heroes of the war are side stepped, while a few other United Nations contingents were accorded accolades by the U.S. Media. In a drastic contrast, the heroic Turks, of that same Korean War period, whom the ex-U.S. President and one-time head of Europe’s Military High command, Dwight D. Eisenhower, praised as being: “The strongest and the most reliable protectors of the European civilization,” were ungratefully ignored. As if they were adding salt to the wound, the TV networks were glorifying the unselfish bravery of the British, Canadian, and Greek units, and mentioning even the Colombians and the Ethiopians by name, with their ‘invaluable’ contributions rendered to the armed forces of the United States.

The U.S. TV Networks Still a Wasteland?

 I watched, with great dismay, and even disgust, every possible news program on all existing TV networks and satellite stations, and yet I was unable to find a single reference to the Turkish Brigade, nor have I found any mention of legendary names of battlefields such as, “Kunuri.” or “Inchon” or a “Munsan-Ni.” No single, solitary utterance of the word “Turk” crossed my ears during this period of exploration. Why wasn’t the gallantry of those fallen Turkish heroes ever cited? Weren’t they the ones who did extricate the U.S. Eight Army and the IX Army Corps from complete annihilation at the hands of the Chinese Communist forces? Weren’t they the ones who reflected the highest credit on the United Nations’ Forces, the United States’ Military Service and the Turkish homeland? Weren’t they the ones about whom the Major General Horace McBride was reported to have said in 1950? : “If I were in combat, I would rather have a Turkish division on my flank than any other I know”

I can go on and on like this, but I also see the futility of talking only as an individual Turkish-American. This is the reason, when a member of the American Congress comes up to the podium at the U.S. House of Representatives and speaks the truth about our legendary heroes of the Korean War a half century later, it gives us all a chance to recognize Rep. John Murtha as a true friend of the Turkish Republic, and of the Turks, and consider him as an unsolicited “seeker and deliverer of the truth on their behalf.” The entire American news Media should take notice of his words and feel a bit embarrassed for having been delinquent in their recognition of the Turks in Korea. It is quite ironic that the Turks were the very first ones to vol­unteer to come to the aid of Americans. Yet they were the first and only ones to be forgotten. The truth is that the Turkish heroes were only known to those who were there with them. The rest of the world, especially the American public, was not informed of the real story about them and thus remained oblivious of their achievements. That is why I say it is high time to rectify the gross negligence of the past half-century, and why we should feel obligated to the likes of Rep. John P.Murtha (Dem.) of the great State of Pennsylvania.



Click here to find out more about the Turks in Korea.

Click here for more biased U.S. media coverage (NBC-TV), by Prof. Ozan.





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