A Study on the Changes in the Image of Korea and Koreans in Turkish Media

Jeong E. K., Son Y. E.

Journal of Literary Therapy, vol.59, no.61, pp.431-471, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


In this paper, we looked at the changes in the image of Koreans and Korea in the Turkish media. Chapter 2 examines the aspects of media coverage of Korea and Koreans; divided by periods, before the 1950s, 1950s to 1960s, 1970s to 1980s, 1990s to 2000s, 2010 to present based on data from renowned Turkish media. 20 years each period was divided into five stages. There were not many. Our findings reveal that in the 1950s and 1960s, the Turkish media paid attention to the Korean War; the 1970s and 1980s, the rapid economic growth of Korea; the 1990s and 2000s, the Korean economy, society, and culture; and after the 2010s, the Korean Wave.
Chapter 3 paid attention to the changing aspects of the image of Korea during the periods. The Turkish media viewed Korea and Koreans as a “neighborhood mother” before the 1950s, used as a tribute and spoiled Japan. During the 1950s to the 1960s, Korea became a "frightened young orphan girl in need of protection" at the risk of being raped. In the 2000s, Korea was viewed as a “strategic partner and friendly alliance” with the nation's luck and from the 2010s to the present the “Korean Wave” was a “powerhouse of contents.” This change in image can be an answer to the existence of Korea and the relationship between Korea and Turkey. Korea is thought of as the “object of indifference → object in need of help → object of surprise and doubt → object of trust → object of an imitator.” Accordingly, Korea and Turkey have progressed from a relationship that they were not interested in, to a relationship that received unilateral help, to a relationship where they exchange assistance and advanced to a relationship that deserves recognition as a role model. Therefore, the relationship between Korea and Turkey has taken a 180-degree turn due to the shift of power. In addition, this complete turn may be attributed to the situation in Turkey, where Korea is referred to as “Kan Kardeşi: brothers who shared blood,” and the “brothers' country” is not forgotten. Korea is not interested in Turkey to the extent that such a cry is colorless. Therefore, Korea and Turkey are important to each other because they are the only sibling nations on the planet, and will have to re-establish their relationship as "brothers." The re-establishment of this relationship will be the path to real harmony between the two countries.
The above study shows that Turkey's perception and view of Korea and Koreans are seen through the media depiction, enhancing the understanding of Turkey and understanding Turkey's view of Korea. This will assist in reestablishing relations with Turkey and lead the way to harmony.