Last updated on 04/14/2019
Solomonovich N. The Turkish Republic's Jihad? Religious symbols,terminology and ceremonies in Turkey during the Korean War 1950–1953. Middle Eastern Studies [Internet]. 2018.
Date Published:27 Mar 2018
On 25 July 1950, a month after the beginning of the Korean War, the newly elected Democratic Party (DP) in Turkey announced that a brigade would be sent to assist South Korea as part of the UN mission led by the United States. The main argument of this article is that although the DP regime is considered a secular and Kemalist one, the state continued the Ottoman tradition and practice of using Islam to gain support for the war and to mobilize the Turkish nation. To do so, the article will show the similarity of both the means and the content of religious propaganda used in the Korean War to those used in the Ottoman jihad in the First World War. This article suggests that parts of the public understood the war as a religious conflict and not just as an ideological one thus indicating the success of the religious messages and their efficiency.