Korean War Legacy Project

Ahmet Tan


Ahmet Tan served as a soldier in the Turkish army during the Korean War.  Ahmet Tan had no formal education, not even elementary and his parents were both illiterate. He was part of the the Turkish 1st Battalion, 4th Company. He was garrisoned in the Iron Triangle of Korea, near Cheorwon. When first arriving, in 1952, the area was very violent. However, after July of 1953, after the signing of the Armistice, tensions cooled and Ahmet Tan and fellow Turkish soldiers were able to return home.

Video Clips

Destruction and Poverty

Ahmet Tan describes the conditions of the Koreans during the Korean War. He describes the people as "good," but impoverished. He also described how the Turkish troops looked after some orphaned children, feeding them and providing them shelter in the military tents.

Tags: Civilians,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,Orphanage,Physical destruction

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Returning Home

Ahmet Tan describes the enemy and fighting conditions near Cheorwon when he first arrived. The action was very violent, but eased when the Armistice was signed. After the Armistice, Turkish soldiers returned home. Ahmet Tan was happy to be home in Istanbul. He has revisited South Korea once and describes it as beautiful. Also, if war ever breaks out again, Ahmet Tan would go again.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Civilians,Front lines,Living conditions,Modern Korea,Pride,South Koreans

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Humble Beginnings

Ahmet Tan describes how education was not offered in his village and how he was illiterate when he went to Korea. His parents were farmers and illiterate also. When he went to Korea, he was a simple soldier. Ahmet Tan served in the 1st Battalion, 4th Company under Colonel Cemal Madanogln.

Tags: Home front,Prior knowledge of Korea

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