Davutoğlu will attend the opening ceremony of the memorial of late Col Altıkat. AFP photo
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
will help unveil a Canadian memorial to honor the late Col. Atilla Altıkat, who was assassinated in Ottawa in 1982 by a terrorist group called the Justice Commandos Against Armenian Genocide (JCAG).
Davutoğlu will pay a two-day working visit to Canada
today and tomorrow at the invitation of his Canadian counterpart, John Baird, the Foreign Ministry announced yesterday in a written statement.
In addition to meeting Baird, Davutoğlu will also “attend the opening ceremony of the memorial which was built in honor of late Col. Atilla Altıkat,” the statement said. Ministry officials said the memorial would be opened on the second day of the visit.
Built on Turkeys’s proposal
“The memorial conveys a universal message against terrorism,” the Foreign Ministry also said, while noting that “the meetings in Canada
will provide an opportunity to exchange views on bilateral, regional and global issues of interest to both countries.”
In late August, daily Hürriyet cited anonymous sources as saying the memorial was built upon a proposal by Turkey. The Canadian Parliament recognized the 1915 killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire
as genocide in 2004. The parliamentary recognition was later approved by the government as well, prompting severe reaction from Turkey.
However, because the Canadian government later softened its comments on the issue, relations have improved between the two in recent years. The JCAG has sought revenge for what it calls the genocide of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire
during World War I.