• 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS
2017-12-04 16:47
By Ali Ertugrul Oztarsu



Turkey and Korea are geographically far apart, but they are culturally very close. The phrase, “blood brothers” can be used to define the relationship between the two countries. Overall, Turks have a strongly positive approach toward Koreans.

The Korean War was a milestone to this brotherhood and became part of the deep historical connection between Central Asia, Gokturk Empire, and Goguryeo. To this day, Turkish people are proud to have sent its military to Korea during the 1950-53 war. Some stories of Turkish soldiers helping the Korean people are still being told throughout Turkey, showing the importance of Korea in Turkey’s modern history.

In 2002, the FIFA World Cup also served as another consolidating factor between the Turkish-Korean brotherhood. This international competition was a reminder of how close the two had become as the Turkish people began to tune-in to Korea again. Soon after the World Cup, Korean dramas such as “Dae Jang Geum” (Jewel in the Palace) and “Hae Shin” (Emperor of the Sea) began to appear on Turkish TV channels. More people were exposed to Korean culture, identifying similarities between Korea and Turkey. Even before the Korean Wave (Hallyu) came about, the younger generation of Turkey had become fans of their far-away neighbor.

Today, around 100,000 Korea fans live in Turkey ― 80 percent being women in the 15-25 age range. It is unofficially known in Turkey that there are around 100 Turkish websites that provide platforms for fans of Korea to discuss Korean dramas, K-pop, and popular destinations in Korea.

Personally, as a Turkish YouTuber who lives and works in Seoul, I periodically shoot videos about Korea and the lifestyle of Korean people. A great portion of my followers are women and young people. It is evident that the younger generation is curious about Korean artists, stars, and the general characteristics of Korean people.

In November 2016 and September 2017, I visited several cities in Turkey to meet up with Korea fans and to organize various seminars on Korea. I recall being shocked that each seminar was so packed with fans that it became difficult to find any place big enough to hold consecutive seminars. In Konya, I firstly planned to gather with the Korea fans in the central mall, but we all had to move to another place because of the huge number of participants. Afterwards, the Battalgazi Malatya Youth Foundation (Battalgazi Malatya Genclik Dernegi) provided a big conference hall in Istanbul for us to hold more conferences about Korea and they invited Korean War veterans from different cities.

I have found that Turkish people are most curious about the country of Korea and the opportunities for education and tourism. I consistently receive questions about such topics in my “Question&Answer” videos. Dramas and music groups are, of course, also key elements of the interest in Korea. EXO, Shinee, BTS, Infinite and Bigbang are the most popular K-pop groups amongst the Turkish youth and Lee Min-Ho and Park Shin-Hye are the best-known stars of Korean drama. Some have said that many of the Korean dramas that Turkish people like (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Dream High, You’re Beautiful, and Princess’ Man) exhibit similarities to Turkey’s deep historical values.

Today, Hallyu is the most recent fashion in the Turkey-Korea relationship adding to the Gokturk-Goguryeo relations, Korean War, and 2002 FIFA World Cup. People of both nationalities are learning about their common history and cultural values through the technological innovations of this century.


Ali Ertugrul Oztarsu is a Turkish YouTuber and SNS manager in Seoul. Write to aliertugrultv@gmail.com


  • 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS