South Korea will never forget the sacrifices made by heroic Turkish soldiers during the war for liberation of the country, head of the Korea-Turkey Friendship Association has said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview, Lee Hee Soo, the secretary-general of the association, said the Turkish people had a special place in the hearts of Koreans.
"We will always remember the sacrifice of the Turkish brigade in the Korean War and we will pass it on to our future generations," Lee said.
On Wednesday, the two countries marked the 67th anniversary of the Turkish Armed Forces' participation in the Korean War and remembered the Turkish martyrs who fell in battle.
Turkish forces served under the UN Command during the Korean War between 1950 and 1953, and 774 Turkish soldiers were martyred.
Lee, also a professor of cultural anthropology at Hanyang University in Seoul, said Turkey topped the most popular nations' list in South Korea.
"15,000 Turkish soldiers came to help us during the Korean War. They gave us a lesson on humanity and bravery," Lee said.
He added many Koreans were impressed by the kindness and compassion of the Turkish soldiers and converted to Islam. "They are the first Koreans to become Muslim," he said.
According to Lee, Turkey is seen as an example of economic stability in the region and is drawing the attention of Korean investors.
He said around 300,000 Koreans visited Turkey last year to experience its rich cuisine and exceptional hospitality.
Lee also condemned last year's defeated coup attempt orchestrated by Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen.
"It is absolutely unacceptable to rise against a 21st century democratic country, bomb its parliament, and kill innocent civilians," he said.
The defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016 left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Reporting by Tevfik Durul; Writing by Burcu Arik;