WASHINGTON - Hürriyet
This photo, published on 'Ottawa Citizen,' shows the partially completed sculpture. OTTAWA CITIZEN, Julie OLIVER*
A monument marking the 30th anniversary of the assassination of a Turkish diplomat by the Armenian terrorist group ASALA is being erected in Ottawa by the Canadian capital city’s Turkish mission.
The project was kept secret to prevent possible interventions by the Armenian lobby, Tolga Tanış of daily Hürriyet reported today.
The Turkish Embassy in Ottawa engaged the Ottawa Municipality, the Ottawa City Council and the Canadian Foreign Ministry last year to obtain the necessary permissions to erect a monument in memory of Turkish Military Attaché Col. Atilla Altıkanat, who was assassinated by ASALA in Ottawa in 1982.
Once granted permission by Canadian authorities, Ambassador Rafet Akgünay contacted Turkish artists Necmettin Yağcı and Azimet Karaman from Gazi University and Reha Benderlioğlu and Levent Timurhan from Timöz architectural company to design a monument in memory of Altıkanat. Yağcı's design was picked by embassy officials from a total of three designs submitted by the artists.
The monument is a 6-meter wide and 3-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.
When completed, a final wooden stake will pierce the monument at its center, marking the exact spot where Altıkanat was killed by ASALA, sculptor Yağcı said. "This sculpture is the first such monument built against anti-Turkish sculptures," Yağcı said, adding that the monument would officially open Aug. 27. "It no longer needs to remain a secret," he said.
"This specific monument was built for the memory of Altıkanat, but I dedicate it to all the Turkish diplomats around the world who were killed on duty," Yağcı said.
Stainless steel and de-moisturized wood were used in the sculpture to make it resistant to weather conditions.
* The photo originally appeared in an article published on the Ottawa Citizen