Monument honoring Turkish diplomat opens in Ottawa
AA PhotoA monument honoring Turkish Military Attaché Col. Atilla Altıkat, who was slain by the Armenian militant group ASALA in 1982, was opened yesterday by the Turkish and Canadian foreign ministers, daily Hürriyet reported.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the monument stood in memory of all victims of terrorist acts who were killed while on duty, calling it "a monument condemning terrorism."
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird also spoke during the ceremony. "Both Canada and Turkey have lost very worthy diplomats through meaningless acts of violence," Baird said.
The monument is a six-meter-wide and three-meter-deep semi-spherical structure comprised of steel and wooden elements that took six months to design and another six months to manufacture. All parts were flown in from Turkey under the sponsorship of Turkish Airlines in July.
Altıkat was assassinated by ASALA in Ottawa in 1982 while he was waiting at a red light. Ten shots were fired at him. He died on the scene.
Active from 1975 to 1991, ASALA claimed responsibility for about 200 attacks on Turkish diplomatic and non-diplomatic institutions and murdered 58 Turkish and non-Turkish people, 34 of whom were Turkish diplomats. ASALA was listed as a terrorist organization by the United States until the 1980s, but was taken off the list when the group disbanded.