Atilla Altıkat

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Colonel Atilla Altıkat was the Turkish military attaché to Ottawa, Canada, who was assassinated in 1982. The Armenian militant group, Justice Commandos Against Armenian Genocide, claimed responsibility for the attack.[1] The act was forcefully condemned by the Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau.[2]

Before being assigned to Ottawa in 1981, Altıkat had been an officer in the Turkish Air Force. He was married and had two teenage children. Altıkat was killed on his way to work at around 9:00 a.m. on August 23, 1982. When his car stopped for a red light on the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway at Island Park Drive, a car stopped nearby, a passenger got out and fired nine shots from a 9mm Browning handgun through the passenger window of the car, killing the diplomat instantly.[3]

The attack was one in a series of attacks on Turkish diplomats around the world. On April 8, 1982, the Turkish Commercial Counsellor in Ottawa, Kani Güngör, had been seriously injured in a failed assassination attempt. Two years later, a group of Armenian guerrillas attacked the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa, killing a Canadian security officer and seriously injuring the ambassador. While those responsible for the other two attacks were caught and prosecuted, the killing of Altıkat remains unsolved, despite the offer of a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.[1]

A monument was inaugurated, on 20 September 2012, to the memory of Col. Altıkat, in Ottawa. The inauguration ceremony was attended by his widow and two children, as well as the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Canada, Ahmet Davutoğlu and John Baird, respectively.[4]

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  1. ^ a b "Turks honour memory of assassinated diplomat: Killer still at large 20 years after slaying of Col. Atilla Altikat;" Susan Burgess. The Ottawa Citizen. Aug 28, 2002. pg. B.9
  2. ^ "Turkish diplomat praises protection despite shooting" Charlotte Montgomery. The Globe and Mail. Aug 31, 1982. pg. P.8
  3. ^ "Ottawa's day of terror: Fifteen years after a high-profile slaying, the killer is still free." Jake Rupert. The Ottawa Citizen. Sep 28, 1997. pg. B.5.
  4. ^