Skip to comments.Turkey: Forgotten Ally in a Forgotten War
Posted on 07/27/2012 7:50:02 PM PDT by a_Turk
Much has been made recently of the unique and ascendant role Turkey is playing in international relations. As a member of NATO, a diplomatic power broker in the Middle East and a rising international economic player, Turkey has become a novelty even in an era of unprecedented global cooperation and political interdependence.
But this is actually nothing new. For more than half a century, Turkey has played this unique role, symbolized so succinctly by the bridge over the Bosporus River that links Asia to Europe, East to West.
For the United States, the bridge to Turkey spans more than two centuries. But it really took hold on the battlefields of the Korean War, where Turkish troops fought side by side with Americans. We mark the 59th anniversary of the war's armistice on July 27.
The Turkish intervention in Korea was unique in its timeliness and urgency. The 5,000-man Turkish brigade arrived in October 1950 as U.S. forces, then acting as part of a United Nations coalition, were struggling to survive a powerful Communist Chinese offensive. The following month, the brigade managed to halt an onslaught of six Chinese divisions around Kunu-ri. After the brigade helped stabilize the front, the Commander of the UN Coalition Forces, General Douglas MacArthur, said, "the Turks are the hero of heroes. There is no impossibility for the Turkish Brigade."
As the war went on, Turkish soldiers continued to bravely aid UN forces, earning recognition from General Walton H. Walker, commander of the U.S. 8th Army, and President Harry Truman, who awarded the Turkish brigade a Presidential Unit Citation. The prestigious award, given to units of the U.S. Armed Forces and allied countries for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy, recognized the Turkish brigade's efforts to save the U.S. 2nd Division from total annihilation, losing 717 men in the process.
Turkey ultimately became the fourth largest military contributor to the UN effort, with a total of 15,000 Turkish troops serving in Korea at various times during the war. The camaraderie on the battlefield led to deep relations between American and Turkish soldiers. After they arrived in Korea, the Turkish troops were trained and equipped by the U.S. Army, giving soldiers and officers several opportunities to strengthen their personal and professional ties.
The late Congressman John P. Murtha once noted how the Turkish intervention "gave hope to a demoralized American nation." Marking the 50th anniversary of the Korean War in 2000, Murtha recalled how Turkish soldiers, after having run out of ammunition, affixed bayonets to their rifles and continued fighting in hand-to-hand combat.
Ankara's brave decision to send troops to Korea in late 1950 also proved pivotal in securing Turkey's entry into NATO the following year. When the alliance was formed in April 1949, Turkey was not invited to join. Washington was reluctant to commit to defend distant Turkey, and had also rejected Turkish proposals for a bilateral alliance or a unilateral U.S. security guarantee. NATO's western European members did not want to risk diluting American economic aid and other assistance they were receiving.
Although some Turkish leaders wanted to pursue a more neutral foreign policy following NATO's snub, Turkish policymakers continued to pursue NATO membership, believing the alliance offered Turkey the optimal western anchor. Turkey's key contribution to the Korean conflict then made it impossible for the allies to turn down Ankara's renewed membership campaign. In September 1951, Turkey, along with Greece, had received a formal invitation to join the alliance.
Turkey has since made major contributions to NATO. During the Cold War, Turkey helped constrain the Soviet Navy in the Mediterranean, provided one of the largest armies in Europe and hosted key NATO military facilities. More recently, Turkish soldiers have contributed to NATO-backed missions in the former Yugoslavia and Libya.
The United States, Great Britain and other members of the international community are now working closely with Turkey to bring peace to Afghanistan, the Middle East and other global hotspots.
Today, more than one thousand Turkish soldiers serve in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The Turkish military is training the Afghan National Security Forces, while Turkish diplomats have been pursuing regional peace initiatives such as the Istanbul Process, aimed at reconciling Pakistan and Afghanistan through confidence-building arrangements and other measures.
The camaraderie on the battlefields of Korea more than a half-century ago set in motion an enduring alliance. Turkey and the United States are cooperating further in advancing democracy in the Middle East, reintegrating Iraq and Central Asia into the global economy and reinforcing transatlantic bonds at a time when Washington finds its attention increasingly focused on Asia.
Oh, another American shill for that h*llhole of islamism and naziism called Turkey. This one at Hudson.
Maybe Israel can spare a megaton popeye for Ankara when they have the Hamas leadership visiting.
This isn’t Kemal’s Turkey today, it is Erdogan’s. The Rumelians have been outbred by the more religious Anatolians. And in a few generations, Kurds will outnumber Turkish children.
Trukey was a fine ally in 1950, but no more. A real ally would have given our troops transit in 2003.
The Armenian’s just hate stories like this.
Sure the Turks were a giant help in Korea ... when they weren't tryinmg to shoot the Greeks, who were also helping out. That was before the place started succumbing to the mullahs ...again. This jerk forgot the annexation of half of Cyprus? This jackass forgot the Turks reneged on a deal to allow us free passage into Iraq ... making our lives much more logistically difficult? Turks make side deals with Iran to suppress the Kurds. Turks make deals with al-quaeda, Hamas, and allah knows who else to intervene in Syria.
If only the dirty commies hadn't shot the Czar. He knew how to handles these worthy oriental gentlemen!
Well, the Muslims are taking back our old pal, and this time the perhaps the Arabs ... who used to be our pals too ... will not overthrow the new Ottoman caliphate.
And they all come to “Amreeka” and the west, dragging their islamic plague with them. Like locusts drawn to green fields.
Sure ain’t the Turkey of yesteryear with its West-friendly Ataturk attitude. Still, it can’t be utterly ignored.
Strictly speaking the Bosp[h]orus is a strait, between two ocean bodies. A true river would be fed from fresh water sources inland and travel to the sea.
That was then - Now is now!
I’ll focus on the last ten years.
Turkey was been cementing Islamists into the seats of power the last 10 years and cutting the head off of the Military and replacing them with more politically reliable generals.
Another fraud ‘think tank’ has been exposed for it’s capture by the interventionist Repubs aka One Worlders. The Repub Party is corrupt and needs to be completely reformed or destroyed!
You guys nailed it in the first few posts.
Now, the real question here - is Richard Weitz of the Hudson Institute just clueless, or is he trying to pull a fast one on the People of the USA? And if the latter, why?
I do not know who this guy is, know nothing of the Hudson Institute, and am largely ignorant of things Turkey since Ataturk——but this is in your face falsehood, spinning like an F5 tornadic event that even a school kid could see coming.
Amateur tactics, gross distortions, and clever omissions. Geeesh.
Say bozo, your Israel-dementia is hanging out. Better zip that fly ;).
As a point of interest, the locals often refer to the Bosporus as a river, even though they know it's really a strait.
Can't argue with the rest of your post.
One does wish the Worthy Oriental Gentlemen would just call it Hellespont. Perhaps you can convince the local Dervishes to give that a Whirl?
Pal'o'mine bought a Turkish side-by-side 12 gauge double. Lovely wood. However, at the skeet range it fired both barrels upon locking. One hopes these traits will thin out the local population around the factory.
Which brings me to another question. When the Ottoman Empire was defeated after World War I, why wasn't Constantinople given to the Greeks?
Because when the Greeks, after the war, aided by the French and the Italians, tried to take it, Ataturk and the Turks gave them a pretty sound thrashing.
The French already had gotten Syria and Lebanon. The Italians already held the Dodecanes Islands and Libya as the reult of their successful 1911 War against the Turks. (as were the Serbs and Montenegrins in the Balkan wars of Independence from Turkey.