[호국보훈의 달] 6.25참전 터키군인들 그후···배우·기자·만화가·작가 등 유명인사 ‘변신’

터키 영화배우 슐레이만 투란(Suleyman Turan) <사진=신화사>

[아시아엔=알리 에르트구를 오즈타르수 기자] 1950~1953년 발생한 한국전쟁은 20세기 가장 잔인한 전쟁으로 알려져 있다. 여러 통계에 의하면 이 전쟁으로 약 3백만명의 사상자가 발생했다. 한국전쟁은 미국과 소련의 아시아 주도권 다툼에서 시작되었다.

한국전쟁은 터키가 NATO에 가입할 수 있게 된 결정적인 계기가 되었다. 터키는 미국측을 돕기 위해 한국으로 군대를 파병했다. 전쟁 초기 5000명으로 구성된 ‘북극성’ 부대가 한국에 파병돼 전쟁 기간 중 요충지에서 전투를 벌였으며, 전쟁이 끝난 후에도 1971년까지 한국에 주둔했다.

한국전쟁박물관 자료에 따르면 2만1212명의 터키 군인이 한국에 파병돼 전투에 임했다. 한국전쟁에 참여한 터키군대의 숫자나 군사활동에 관해서는 정확한 정보가 미흡한 상태다. 한국전쟁에 참여한 다른 나라들처럼 터키 역시 파병군인 추모회를 열고 있다. 미국 가수 클린트 이스트우드처럼 한국전쟁에 참여한 터키 유명인사도 여럿 있다.

슐레이만 투란(Suleyman Turan)

한국전쟁 중 자원해 복무한 투란은 참전 중 휴가를 얻어 일본에 건너가 오디션을 통해 영화배우가 되었다. 나중에 그는 터키 영화계를 대표하는 배우로 발전했으며 터키국민들은 투란이 한국전쟁 중 겪은 무용담을 들으며 자기와 동일시 하곤 했다.

이스마일 하키 쉔(Ismail Hakki Sen)

한국전쟁 참전 용사로 전쟁 직후 배우가 되었다. 그는 터키 군인들의 활동상황을 국내에 대해 알리려고 숱한 노력을 한 것으로 전해진다. 한국전쟁에서 터키 군의 역할이 어땠는지 정보가 드문 까닭에 그의 역할이 돋보인다. 그는 육군 중위로 복무했는데 4군데나 부상을 입었다. 그는 “전 세계가 터키 군의 용맹성에 대해 칭찬했지만 정작 우리에게는 어떠한 혜택도 없었으며 터키 군인들은 이유 없이 전쟁터에서 죽어갔다”며 울분을 터뜨렸다. 전쟁 후 오랜 방황 끝에 연극배우로 전향한 것으로 전해진다.

투나 발타지오글루(Tuna Baltacioglu)

작가이자 만화가인 그는 군대 통역관으로 복무했다. 그는 한 인터뷰에서 미군이 터키군을 어떻게 이용했는지 폭로하고 “터키 군대는 미군이 철수한 뒤에도 한국땅에 남아 용기를 결코 잃지 않았다”고 전했다. 통역관의 그의 역할은 무척 중요했다. 영어로 내려오는 지시를 알아듣지 못한 터키 군인들이 함정에 빠져 목숨을 잃게 되는 상황이 종종 벌어졌기 때문이다.

레픽 에르두란(Refik Erduran)

언론인이자 작가인 그는 한국전쟁 당시 한국인들의 처참한 상황을 터키 본국에 널리 알렸다. 당시 한국은 지금은 상상할 수 없을 만큼 나라 전체가 생지옥과도 같았다. 사람들은 뿔뿔히 흩어져 생사를 확인할 수가 없었다고 그는 터키 본국에 타전했다.

세미하 에스(Semiha Es)

사진작가인 그는 여성 최초로 한국전에 참전했다. 세미하 에스는 기자인 남편을 따라 한국에 와 전쟁 사진을 수 없이 촬영했다. 그의 작품들은 2005년 ‘사진집’으로 발간됐다.

아이한 바쇼글루(Ayhan Basoglu)

만화가인 그는 한국전쟁에 참가한 또 다른 터키의 저명인사다. 그는 작품에서 전쟁에서 목숨을 잃은 군인을 추모하는 의미로 터키인의 카리스마와 용맹성과 전투기질을 대표하는 말코쇼글루(Malkocoglu)라는 인물을 만들어 냈다.

TURKISH CELEBRITIES JOINED KOREAN WAR

Ali Ertugrul OZTARSU

The Korean War of 1950-53, is known as one of the bloodiest wars of the 20th century. According to many sources, the war caused three million casualties. The war began as a result of two governments that wanted to be the dominant power in Asia. This war was also an important opportunity for the Turkish government to join NATO, so they sent troops to Korea to fight alongside the Americans.

The Turkish Brigade, Polar Star, which consisted of five thousand people in the beginning of war, fought in the most important positions during the Korean War and stayed in South Korea even after the war with reinforcing units until 1971. According to information provided by the Korean War Museum, 21,212 Turkish soldiers served to defend South Korea.

It is very difficult to find detailed information in Turkish sources about total attendance of Turkish soldiers in the Korean War and specific military activities of the Turkish soldiers. Just like every country that participated in the war, Turkey also has interesting memories of the unions that were sent to Korea. And just as Clint Eastwood joined the war effort, some Turkey’s celebrities aided in the fight, too.

SULEYMAN TURAN

Suleyman Turan, one of the most intellectual actors of Turkish cinema, served in the military as reserve official in Korea, where he worked as a volunteer during the war period. In the meantime, he was also active in Japan and became a movie star.

An 1964 interview of Turan in Ses Magazine was shared on Instagram by Cinemasco. In the interview, Turan says, “I appeared before the cameras by chance in Tokyo. This was when I was on leave. We were looking for a place to have fun with a friend named Altan.

We went to a club named Crown, but the nightclub was closed by filmmakers who were shooting a film co-produced by Brazil-Japan filmmakers. We were curious and asked if we could watch in on their work. After a while, the reji assistant came and offered us a role in the film.” Turan added that he went to the farthest point of the front-line in Korea and that he was loved by the Turkish soldiers who were involved. People should listen to Turan’s wartime memories that are particularly interesting because he lived in the Far-East for a while after the war.

Ismail Hakkıen, another actor of Turkish cinema, is a veteran of the Korean War. He says that he began acting after the effect the war had on him and used his career as a platform to convey important information about the situation of Turkish soldiers. It has been said that Turkish soldiers were used as pawns in the war effort by America. Therefore, since the Menderes administration, we do not have deep knowledge about Turkey’s role in the Korean War or other issues. ?en, who joined the war as a sub-lieutenant, shared his memories in the Radikal Newspaper in 2003.

He explained America’s interesting situation: “They gave all the soldiers boxes that were full of daily necessities. “1945” was written on the boxes. These materials were actually prepared and stored for World War II but when the Korean War broke-out the U.S. took them out from their armory and gave it to us. Were the factories that had manufactured these materials closed after the Korean War? Of course not, they continued to manufacture their products. Did the factories that produce bullets begin producing chewing gum? Where will these products be consumed? That’s why wars break out.

Then, who was wounded by four pieces of shrapnel in the Korean War, summarized the Turkish military service and the post-war mood in Korea: I was sub-lieutenant and army equipment military police officer. We were following spies and fighting in street battles. Our duties were walking in the streets and protecting people, and avoiding despoliation. We were so busy that 2-3 hours were a blessing to us.

Thousands of our soldiers were martyred there. The government sent us to Korea; was there any benefit in that for us? The whole world has only seen the courage of the Turkish people. As in all wars, our soldiers died for no reason. For instance, no one knows that I had a friend in Izmir called Idris. His two sons went to America and became U.S. citizens. One of his son’s name was Adem. Adem was the first American soldier who died in Vietnam. No one rehabilitated us after the war.

I was married and had six children. I returned home and after several hours, remember asking, “Where is the Buddha sculpture?” They had lost it. Because of this, I packed my bags and left home. I should not have done it, but the impact of the war had not waned in me. I wandered around for a long time without knowing what to do. Finally, I thought I could overcome all of these problems by being a stage actor and I naturally took parts in theatrical plays.

TUNA BALTACIGOLU

Tuna Baltacıolu, writer and cartoonist, also served as reserve officer in the Korean War and operated as a translator for the Army. He talked of how America used Turkey as a pawn in the Battle of Wawon (an important battle in the war effort), in an interview. Baltacıolu, who talked in detail of the war to the Yeni Aktel in 2006, mentioned that Americans withdrew from the war area but Turkish soldiers continued to fight with enemies and they experienced some serious translation problems. In other words, Turkish soldiers fell into a trap because they did not understand the Americans’ orders to retreat in English. After many soldiers died in Wawon, translation became an important issue and Baltacıolu became involved in the war after this process.

REFIK ERDURAN

Refik Erduran, Journalist-writer, served as reserve officer in the war. His memories about our situation in the Korean War in the same magazine went as such: People in South Korea were different during the war; not like today. The country was a living hell. People were scattered and their identities were confused. It could be that they considered American domination an insult. Turkey went to Korea because we deemed America was not safe for Korea. We were first soldiers to go to Pusan.

SEMIHA ES

Semiha Es, the first female war correspondent and photographer, joined to the war effort with her journalist and writer husband Hikmet Feridun Es and served to create visual resources related to war. An interesting war memory was published in 2005 in Hurriyet (Turkish newspaper): Once, a Chinese soldier tried to kill me. Obviously, this poor man did not know that nobody can die without God’s permission. The Chinese soldier could not kill me, but then he was taken as captive. The poor man was injured. I made them send him to a hospital and I cared for his wounds.”

AYHAN BASOLU

Cartoonist, Ayhan Baolu, is another celebrity who served as a reserve officer in the war effort. He decided to create Malkoolu in memory of soldiers we had lost, representing the Turkish charisma, strength, and fighting ethos. (Special thanks to llknur SOLMAZ for translation)

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