Turkish officer honored for heroic sacrifice during Korean War

Turkish artillery officer Mehmet Gonenc, second from right, poses with fellow comrades during the Korean War. Courtesy of Embassy of Turkey in Seoul

Mehmet Gonenc, a Turkish artillery officer, was remembered for his heroic sacrifice during the Korean War, where he displayed extraordinary bravery in the face of enemy occupation.Gonenc’s actions from April 22 to 23, 1951, exemplify the courage and dedication of Turkish soldiers in defending their positions against overwhelming odds.According to firsthand accounts, Gonenc, serving in the Ninth Infantry Division, bravely called for artillery support despite being surrounded by enemy forces.In a radio transmission to the artillery battalion headquarters, Gonenc urgently requested assistance.”The enemy has occupied our hill. Many casualties have occurred. The infantry battalion commander has become a prisoner of war. A signalman has also fallen. Fire the cannons at these coordinates,” he said, according to eyewitnesses, giving the coordinates for artillery fire to his location.His commanding officer at the time recounted Gonenc’s unwavering determination, saying, “Mehmet Gonenc displayed exceptional courage and selflessness in the face of imminent danger. His actions reflect the highest ideals of military service.”

Even in the face of known dangers, Gonenc remained steadfast in his determination, refusing to yield to the enemy. “We won’t allow ourselves to fall into enemy hands. Don’t let them take us prisoner. Direct the artillery fire to our positions; I’ll relay the coordinates once more,” he said in his last transmission before the radio fell silent.The decision to honor Gonenc’s sacrifice was unanimous among his fellow officers, who were deeply moved by his bravery.”Mehmet Gonenc’s sacrifice will be remembered as a symbol of valor and honor for generations to come,” a fellow officer said.The commemoration ceremony for Gonenc and his comrades was held in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province, Monday.”Lieutenant Mehmet Gonenc’s story shone like a beacon during the difficult times of war, and he played a decisive role in changing the course of the battle and saving thousands of lives,” Turkish Ambassador to Korea Murat Tamer said at the ceremony.”The sacrifices and heroism of Turkish soldiers who participated in the Korean War have contributed, even if just a little, to the formation of this beautiful country, giving us pride and sustaining our friendship and 온라인카지노 brotherhood.”

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