Forty-one years ago on 17 December 1980, Turkish Consul-General to Australia Mr. Sarik Ariyak (50) along with Consul attaché, Mr. Engin Server (28) were brutally murdered on one of the safest streets in the world, by an assassin in a ‘carefully planned and professional’ operation linked to an Armenian terrorist group in Sydney.
Mr. Ariyak’s wife and seven-year-old daughter witnessed their dear father and husband dying before them in front of their diplomatic residence in Dover Heights, an eastern suburb of Sydney. Turkish diplomatic mission in Sydney organized a commemoration in the memories of the martyred diplomats in front of where they were killed.
The Turkish Consul-General Mr. Ali Sevim opened the speech and highlighted the tragedy which took place forty-one years ago and that this threat continues to be present to this day not only to Turkish diplomats worldwide but also towards Australians in general. He further thanked the Australian government and its police forces for support of diplomats and the Turkish diaspora in Australia.
The Australian-Turkish Business Council representative, Mr. Huseyin Baris Atayman listed the number of Turkish diplomats and their family members killed around the world by Armenian terror outfits. He expressed hope that the Australian government would be able to stop such crimes so that it is never repeated in this peaceful nation where people of almost every part of the world live cohesively.
Mr. Omer Riza Incekara, leading businessman and representative of the Australian-Turkish Business Council emphasized that the gathering of the day remembering the slain Turkish diplomat was important to send a strong message to the perpetrators that neither the Turkish government nor the Australian multicultural society would tolerate such criminals committing further terrorist attacks in Australia. He also thanked the Australian authorities for their timely action, which continues to trace and uproot hyper-nationalistic terrorist groups which use Australian soil to score politically by terrorizing and murdering innocent people in front of their families.
A memorial stone stands on the spot in front of the Turkish diplomat residence on Portland Street Dover Heights where the Turkish diplomat and attaché fell, erected by Australian-Turkish community and the diplomatic mission. Community leaders such as Mr. Michael Oyta the President of the Australian Azerbaijan Association, Australian parliamentarians, and local representatives laid wreaths next to the monument.
Turkish commercial attaché, Mr. Selcuk Bozok, Mr. Ebuzer Tanhan the general manager (Australia and New Zealand) of Turkish Airlines and Mr. Yuksel Cifci, the President of Turkish Media were present at the gathering. Counsel–General of Pakistan Mohammad Ashraf and Member of Parliament for Auburn Ms. Lynda Voltz also attended. Turkish Consul staff served delicious Turkish snacks at the end of the proceedings.
A detailed analytical article on this distant but grave incident will be published soon on 5 News Australia by Hanif Bismi.