The historical bond between Turkey and Korea started on 11 August 1949. The reason why these two countries have a well-founded, positive bond is that Turkey sent soldiers to Korea during the Korean War and many of them were martyred. There is no conflict between the two countries in terms of politics because they see each other as a companion country and have continued their companionship, taking part in regular political dialogues.
Turkey and Korea support each other on the international platform. Former president of the republic Abdullah Gül visited Korea between 14 June 2010 and 16 June 2010. Former president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited South Korea in 2012. He negotiated with statesmen during the Nuclear Safety Summit.
When North Korea declared war against South Korea in 1950, Turkey sent 5,455 soldiers in support and solidarity. As 462 Turkish soldiers fell, martyred in this war between 1950-1955, the historical bond between Turkey and Korea gained an emotional dimension. Up to today, Koreans have displayed their gratitude in various ways since the war, including:
• Hyundai company executives expressed their gratitude for Turkey via the investments they made in Turkey.
• Every Korean student visits Pusan Martyrdom Monument, once every three months. The monument was built by the United Nations (UN) in 1951 to help keep Korean War memories alive.
• In Korean textbooks, the Turks are cited as respectful, warm-hearted people.
Koreans are also known to occasionally come to Turkey and express their gratitude. In 2007, Korean doctors came to Denizli province and provided free health service to Korean veterans, relatives of veterans, and to poor people.
Compared to this positive political relationship, economic and commercial relationships between Turkey and Korea is actually unsatisfactory. Between the two countries is the Merchandise Trade Treaty and the Free Trade Zone Treaty, both signed during a ceremony held on 1 August 2012 in Istanbul by Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan (Turkey) and Minister of Economy Bark (South Korea). This treaty came into force on 1 May 2013. When we examine the period so far since February 2012, it is obvious that 202 South Korean companies have done business in our country.
Karma Economic Commission (KEK) and the Business Council inspect commercial and economic relationships between these two countries with deep historical ties. The last Karma Economic Commission (KEK) meeting was held on 25 September 2009 in Ankara, a sign that business relations between Turkey and Korea are still ongoing and enjoying regular dialogue.