91 years old Turkish citizen of Armenian descent, Minas Kaya, who fought in Korean war has been laid to rest in Germany after passing away at the age of 91. Kaya’s coffin was wrapped with beloved Turkish flag to honor his will.
Minas Kaya was born in 1930 to a peasant Armenian family in the central Turkish province of Yozgat. He was recruited in 1950 by the Turkish army to fight in Korean war as a response to the United Nations’ call for military aid to South Korea after the North attacked in 1950.. His son Murat Kaya said he had a big loyalty to the Turkish army. “My father loved to talked about his fellow soldiers and commanders. I think he loved them more than his own parents,” Murat Kaya was quoted saying after his father’s funeral in Bremen, Germany.
Being born to a catholic family, Minas Kaya wanted no priest at his funeral, his son said. “My father wanted everyone to say prayers in own belief, regardless of religion,” Murat Kaya said.
Turkey deployed the fourth most troops to Korea, with four brigades of a total 21,212 soldiers. 900 Turkish soldiers have fallen during the war making the country third among 16 participating nations in terms of casualties. The U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan bears 462 Turkish soldiers.
Hundreds of ethnic Armenians as well as others have fought in Korea with the Turkish army.
Turkish army’s role in Korean war has become one of the most untold stories through out history as the heroic fought of the Turkish soldiers are lingers in the minds of a few surviving veterans.
U.S. Congressman John P. Murtha (Democrat — Pennsylvania, who joined the Marine Corps during the Korean War, was quoted saying “The Turkish Brigade demonstrated superior combat capability and courage from the critical moment it entered the battlefield.”