March 9, 1983 | Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Galip Balkar, Turkish Ambassador to Yugoslavia

On March 9, 1983, two Armenian gunmen assassinated the Turkish Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Galip Balkar, and seriously wound his chauffeur, Necati Kayar, in central Belgrade.  Galip Balkar died on March 11 in the neurosurgical clinic in Belgrade where he was in critical condition after emergency surgery.

One of the gunmen, Antranig Boghosian (a.k.a. Harutiun Levonian), also opens fire on and seriously wounds a Yugoslav Colonel, and is then shot and apprehended by a member of the Yugoslav Secret Service. Boghossian is paralyzed from his injuries. As the other gunman, Raffi Elbekian, flees from the scene, Belgrade citizens pursue him. Elbekian opens fire on the civilians, killing a young male student and wounding a young girl. JCAG claims responsibility for the assassination. Boghosian and Elbekian area convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years. Both were released in 1987, after serving only four years. They then lived underground in Greece, South Cyprus, and Lebanon until 1995, at which time they entered Armenia. Boghosian lives in Yerevan, Armenia, and is said to reside with Alec Yenikomshian of ASALA, who was convicted in Switzerland for the attempted murder of the Turkish Ambassador.

ATAA condemns these acts of violence against innocent individuals and remembers these tragedies with great sorrow and deliberation to bring the perpetrators and their supporters to justice.

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