Korean War Legacy Project

Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan

Bio

Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan, a Private in the Turkish Army during the Korean War, comes from a well-known family with a history dating back to the Ottoman Empire. His father served as a Captain in the Balkan Wars, and one of his brothers also fought in the Korean War. Stationed near Cheorwon, close to the 38th Parallel, Ali served until the signing of the Armistice and then returned home. Revisiting South Korea later in life, he feels immense pride in his service and the contributions he made.

Video Clips

Recounts From Post-Armistice Korea

Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes post-Armistice South, Korea. He describes women with small feet from forced stunting. He also describes the suffering of the people from a war-torn land. People were starving. Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan gave food to the people. However, this was against military rules. He had to spend fifteen days in military prison for giving food. He also discusses the taboos of the suffering of the people.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Civilians,Food,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Orphanage,Physical destruction,Poverty,South Koreans,Women

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A Brother's Narrative

Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes the Korean War from his brother's perspective. His brother served in the Turkish Army at the battle of Kunu-ri. The battle was largely a guerrilla war. Turkish military fought the North Koreans in close combat with bayonets affixed. The battle was extremely dangerous and hard fought.

Tags: Chinese,Communists,Front lines,North Koreans,Weapons

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Selling of American Military Equipment

Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes how after the Armistice, the Turkish military would sell US equipment to the South Korean people. For example, a car was sold without American knowledge and used as public transportation. A generator was sold to provide electricity. These events show the needs of the Korean people after the war.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFT4VQBcf9M&start=1599&end=1699

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https://koreanwarlegacy.org/interviews/ali-muzaffer-kocabalkan#clip-3

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