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Brett Hendey

TURKISH UN KOREAN WAR MEDAL

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In his excellent book on the medals of the Korean War, Kevin Ingraham wrote that the Turkish brigade "established a fearsome reputation for its offensive capability and front line conduct", a description echoed by various postings on the Internet.

I was surprised to learn that after 1923 Turkey outlawed all military decorations and that the Turkish language UN Korea Medal was issued to Turkish troops as a "momento" and could not be worn openly. Also, since the UN colours (blue and white) on the ribbon are anathema to the Turks, this ribbon was often replaced by a plain red one.

In my so far unsuccessful attempts to acquire a Turkish UN Korea Medal, I have only seen illustrated medals with the original blue and white ribbon. I wonder if anyone reading this post has either seen or actually owns a red-ribboned medal? A photograph and/or a description of the red fabric would be much appreciated.

Regards

Brett

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One was for sale @ 3 months ago on eBay. i stumbled across it looking for an early Korean issue Korean War campaign medal (which Turks were also allowed to keep).

There were also Turkish "Korean war badges" made and issued! These were worn by vets although i do not know if they were allowed on uniforms or only on specific parade days.

A box (!) of these also sold recently on eBay. Do a search on 'Korean veteran medal' under completed items and they should pop up.

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Many thanks for the tip. I have started to watch eBay Korean War postings and missed a Turkish UN Korea Medal recently. I suspect that at least some of the medals which appear on the market are from unissued stock, which seems to be the case with all the non-Commonwealth Korean War medals that I have acquired so far. It would be great to find a medal (& badges) that belonged to a Turkish Korean War veteran, especially if it had a red ribbon.

Regards

Brett

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I used to commonly find these in Germany (25 years ago), sold by Turks working there. The ribbons were generaly a coarse weave similar to this example (Lot 1375, FJP Auctions Inc., 19 Nov 09 sale)

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Jeff

Your picture is exactly what I was hoping to see! I am most grateful, since I now know what I am looking for. Presumably the medals you saw in Germany are now in private collections, so some could come on to the market again.

Thanks again.

Regards

Brett

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I bought every one I saw and sold them here in the US. Other than this piece from our auction, I haven't seen one on the red ribbon in several years.

Edited by JBFloyd

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Jeff

My timing is bad. My medal-buying fund is fully committed to a end-November auction in South Africa, so a US bid is not possible. I regret this now and will do so even more in the future if no more red-ribboned Turkish UN Korea Medals appear on the market.

Thanks for your responses to my post.

Regards

Brett

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Have you tried member demir?

Thanks Ulsterman,

Brett,

Please check my Korean War medals collection:

http://gmic.co.uk/in...ar&fromsearch=1

Under the UN command, 39.000 troops served from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, TURKEY, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States. Denmark and Italy provided medical support only.

There is no Turkish red ribbon UN Korean War ribbon. Some people claimed that Turks do wear the white and blue ribbon of the UN because it resembles the Greek colours but there is no Government or Miltary decree or regulation about not wearing it.

The red ribbon is a good marketing tool for an American company named m......

The real Turkish language UN Korean war medal is shown below. I have all original Koren UN W.M except the Spanish issue.

All the best demir

Edited by demir

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I've owned 2 Italian-issue UN Korea Medals - one in the small blue issue box with an "I" on the end; one witho no box. Both sold very quickly. The estimate is that about 135 pieces were issued. There is an association of Italian Korea veterans that is very active, so the medals don't show up in the market often.

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While I understand Demir's comments about the red ribbon Turkish UN Korea Medals, I have owned 6-8 of them (all purchased at military shows in Germany in 1982-1985). None were marketed as anything other than scarce medals (in fact, most cost little more than US$50 because the German dealers had no interest in them at all). Of those pieces, only 2 had the original UN ribbon. All the others had worn red ribbons with buttonholes for wear, and all showed honest use and wear. There may have been no policy for the wear of red ribbons, but the medals in the market certainly have appeared that way.

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Demir & Jeff

Thank you both for your posts. Demir, I am very envious of your UN Korea Medals. I wonder if it is a unique collection?

The Korean War and the medals associated with it have proved to be very rewarding subjects for research, but collecting such medals has turned out to be more difficult and more expensive than I had anticipated. For the time being I will have to be content with the medals already in my collection. They represent the US, UK, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Belgium, Thailand and Ethiopia. Only those from the UK, NZ and SA are named and are known to have belonged to Korean War veterans, rather than medals that may have come from unissued military stocks.

Regards

Brett

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The South Africans who served in Korea received the English language UN Korea Medal, an example of which is shown here.

Benjamin Reuben Leach was a safety equipment technician who served in the SAAF in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in World War II. He remained in the SAAF after the war and volunteered for service with 2 Squadron in the Korean War. His time in Korea coincided with the periods when 2 Squadron was awarded the US Distinguished Unit Citation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. He later qualified for the award of the Permanent Force Good Service Medal. He died in a road traffic accident in Pretoria in 1967.

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One was for sale @ 3 months ago on eBay. i stumbled across it looking for an early Korean issue Korean War campaign medal (which Turks were also allowed to keep).

There were also Turkish "Korean war badges" made and issued! These were worn by vets although i do not know if they were allowed on uniforms or only on specific parade days.

A box (!) of these also sold recently on eBay. Do a search on 'Korean veteran medal' under completed items and they should pop up.

These are commonly sold on ebay by mcstls, but beware they are copies (as is the other junk he sells) - see for example lot 220511512238

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It is upsetting to find that Turkish UN Korea Medals are being copied. Once such medals are in circulation they are easily added into collections such as mine. This is making me hesitate about continuing to collect Korean War medals. The Turkish medal may be particularly desirable because of the reputation of the men who earned it, but perhaps the medal cheats have already spread their web wider than that.

Brett

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It is upsetting to find that Turkish UN Korea Medals are being copied. Once such medals are in circulation they are easily added into collections such as mine. This is making me hesitate about continuing to collect Korean War medals. The Turkish medal may be particularly desirable because of the reputation of the men who earned it, but perhaps the medal cheats have already spread their web wider than that.

Brett

Hi,

I did not see any copy Turkish UN Korean War Medal. Even the medals of the red ribbon ones are not copy as far as I know, only original ribbons are replaced with the red ones.

The new version of the UN Korean English War Medals are on sale and they can be easily noticed. (pictures attached both original and new - new with box )

demir

Edited by demir

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Hi,

I did not see any copy Turkish UN Korean War Medal. Even the medals of the red ribbon ones are not copy as far as I know, only original ribbons are replaced with the red ones.

The new version of the UN Korean English War Medals are on sale and they can be easily noticed. (pictures attached both original and new - new with box )

demir

For some fakes, take a look at the auctions of mcstls - see for example ebay auction 220511512238. Sometimes he also has them made up with red ribbons - also fakes not originals with a swapped ribbon.

These UN medals by mcstls are fakes meant to deceive collectors and sold as such - they are not "new versions" for qualified recipients or whatever. The WW1 Interallied victory medals by mcstls are also fakes.

Rgds,

Dave

Edited by ThaiDave

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For some fakes, take a look at the auctions of mcstls - see for example ebay auction 220511512238. Sometimes he also has them made up with red ribbons - also fakes not originals with a swapped ribbon.

These UN medals by mcstls are fakes meant to deceive collectors and sold as such - they are not "new versions" for qualified recipients or whatever. The WW1 Interallied victory medals by mcstls are also fakes.

Rgds,

Dave

Thanks Dave,

Please tell us how we can find out a fake UN Turkish medal, where to look, the Turkish Korea writing or a sign on the medal etc.

In this forum there are some articles which explaines how to understand fake medals, Mecidis or Osmanis or other Ottoman medals.

All the best

Edited by demir

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