The Korean Embassy, in collaboration with the Embassy of Turkey, presented the heart-touching movie titled “Ayla: The Daughter of War” at the Korean Culture Centre on December 8, 2023.

H.E. Mr. Chull-joo Park extended gratitude to members of the Diplomatic Corps and friends for attending the event, which aimed to honor veterans and their families. The gathering served not only to commemorate the dedication of veterans but also to revive their efforts in transforming the pains and sufferings of war into hope for Korea’s future.

Following the devastating earthquake that shook Southeast Turkey in February of this year, the Ankara school, established in Korea in 1952 by Turkish Soldiers and later closed in 1966 after hosting 640 war orphans, generously contributed to needy communities as a token of gratitude for the support received during the war. In reciprocation, the Korean government provided humanitarian aid and committed to repairing and constructing several schools in Turkey. Notably, one such school in the Sanliurfa province, the Seoul school, serves as a reminder of the Ankara School established by soldiers in Korea. Additionally, Korea erected a temporary housing complex named the “Korea-Turkey Friendship Village” in October this year for Turkish residents who lost their homes in the earthquake.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” This proverb aptly characterizes the deep friendship between Korea and Turkey.

H.E. Ayşegül Kandaş warmly welcomed visitors and expressed gratitude for their presence at the event, which was part of the celebrations for the Republic of Turkey’s 100th anniversary. The young girl portrayed in the movie is now a lady in her 90s, residing in Seoul, while the Turkish soldier sadly passed away in Turkey in 2017.

H.E. Ayşegül Kandaş highlighted both Turkey and South Korea’s membership in the G20, recognizing them as pivotal nations committed to contributing continuously to global peace and prosperity. She emphasized their bilateral relations, rooted in longstanding connections, continually strengthening through cooperation on international platforms.

This historical drama depicts the true story of Süleyman Dilbirliği, a sergeant in the Turkish brigade, during the early 1950s Korean War. The film beautifully captures the extraordinary bond between Süleyman and a young orphaned 5-year-old Korean girl named Kim Eun-ja, given the Turkish name Ayla. Amid the harsh realities of war, Süleyman nurtures and cares for Ayla as a father figure.

The film delves into themes of humanity, compassion, and the impact of war on individuals, set against the backdrop of the Korean War. It poignantly portrays the struggles and sacrifices of those involved, highlighting the universal connections formed amidst adversity.

by Marion Kate