ATAA Remembers Victims of Armenian Terrorism
January 27, 1973 – Santa Barbara, California
On January 27, 1973, Armenian American extremist, Gourgen Yanikian, assassinated the Los Angeles Turkish Consul General Mehmet Baydar and Vice Consul Bahadir Demir, after inviting the Turkish diplomats to his hotel suite to present the Turkish Government with gifts. Soon after killing the diplomats, Yanikian surrendered to police, was tried in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Santa Barbara, was convicted of first-degree murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Ten years later, California Governor George Deukmejian, who was of Armenian descent, ordered the release of Yanikian, who died of natural causes soon thereafter. The Armenian Reporter, commemorated Yanikian, declaring that he had “opened [a] new era of political struggle” and “changed the course of Armenian history.
The Yanikian murders were the start of modern day Armenian terrorism by the Armenian terrorist organizations, Marxist ASALA and neo-fascist JCAG. To date, ASALA and JCAG, have carried out over 300 terror attacks, mostly bombings in public areas, and hate crimes against people of Turkish heritage. ASALA and JCAG have claimed responsibility for the deaths of more than 77 people, including Americans; woundings of over 700 people, mostly non-Turks; and billions of dollars of property damage worldwide. In the 1980s, Turkish and Israeli intelligence cooperated to uproot Armenian terrorists in Lebanon’s Syrian-occupied Bekaa Valley.