World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday said that the Turkish nation will never forget its diplomats assassinated by Armenian militants while on duty.
Davutoglu inaugurated a Monument for Martyred Turkish Diplomats and the late Turkish Military Attache Colonel Atilla Altikat who was killed by the Armenian organization ASALA in 1982 in Ottowa.
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird was also present during the inauguration of the monument.
Speaking at the monument, Davutoglu said that the monument was made in memory of all Turkish diplomats who became victims of attacks.
"During the days the monument was getting completed, the U.S. Ambassador in Tripoli lost his life. August 27, the day when Colonel Altikat was assassinated, is a day when the Canadian nation met with international terror for the first time," Davutoglu stressed.
"This monument here is one that condemns terror. We thank all those who made this monument possible," Davutoglu said.
Addressing Colonel Altikat's spouse Ayla Altikat and children Goker and Zeynep, Davutoglu said he wished his deep condolences to the Altikat family.
"I do hope that God's mercy is with Colonel Altikat. Martyrs never die in our culture. I am sure that Colonel Altikat's spirit is with us. I would like to thank you for letting us share your pain. On behalf of the Turkish nation, I would like to thank you for your strong posture throughout the years. Our martyrs, who have lost lives in different corners of the world, will never be forgotten," Davutoglu underlined.
Minister Baird, in his part, said that the assassination of Colonel Atilla Altikat was a very sad incident.
The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) is an Armenian organization which killed 46 Turkish citizens and other nationals, including Turkish diplomats and their family members, since the mid-1970s. The stated intention of ASALA was "to compel the Turkish Government to acknowledge publicly its responsibility for the incidents in 1915, pay reparations, and cede territory for an Armenian homeland".
MEMORIAL AT TURKISH EMBASSY
Proceeding to the Turkish Embassy following the inauguration of the monument, Ahmet Davutoglu attended a memorial to remember Colonel Altikat.
The memorial began with the Turkish national anthem. Verses from the Holy Koran were read and prayers made for all martyrs of Turkey.
Davutoglu had a chance to speak with representatives of the Turkish community in Canada at the Turkish Embassy.
Following the memorial, Davutoglu met with his Canadian counterpart Baird over a working meal.
Davutoglu and Baird discussed the issues of Syria and Iran and took a decision to boost bilateral relations, including commercial ones.
Davutoglu and his delegation later proceeded to New York from Canada.