Ahead of the 39th Anniversary of the terrorist attack against Turkish Consul General Sarik Ariyak and his bodyguard Engin Sever, we wanted to publish the following Editorial by The Canberra Times dated December 18, 1980.

The full article can be found on http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126164785

Dictionary definition of the word terrorism

The Canberra Times

Thursday, December 18, 1980


The gunning-down in Sydney yesterday of the Turkish Consul-General, Mr Sarik Ariyak, and his bodyguard was a dastardly act, apparently the work of political terrorists. Responsibility for the assassination has been claimed by ,a terrorist body – the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Gcnocide. Armenian guerillas going under various names have claimed about a dozen Turkish victims, including ambassadors in France and the Vatican and senior diplomats in Greece and Austria, and their families. In October this year they exploded bombs in New York and Los Angeles which injured six people. The message phoned to a newsagency yesterday from the apparent terrorists said the killings fell within the bounds of the revolutionary movement which began in the early 1970s with acts in Vienna, Rome, Madrid, Paris and the Vatican. It was in retaliation “for the injustices done to the Armenians by the Turks in 1915”. This message added that the attacks were aimed at Turkish diplomats and .institutions, and threatened, “We will strike again”.

It is not the first time such a violent criminal act has been perpetrated against foreign representatives on Australian soil. But the fact that this event could occur in broad daylight in a suburban street must bring home to ordinary citizens the fact that terrorism is no longer something which happens somewhere else. The full impact of international terrorism became manifest in Australia with the bombing of the Hilton hotel in Sydney during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting in February 1978. In 1977 there had been the kidnapping of the Indian military attache and his wife at knifepoint in Canberra by a member of the Ananda Marga movement who is now serving a nine-year jail sentence for the crime. More recently there was the unexplained bombing of the Iwasaki tourist resort at Yeppoon in Queensland. The perpetrators have not yet been brought to book.

What these events have in common are the transport of simmering hatreds, often to areas remote from the origin of these hatreds, and the willingness to extract murderous vengeance for wrongs, real or imaginary. Yesterday it was a senior foreign diplomat and a member of his staff killed by those apparently seeking vengeance for historic wrongs.

This is not the place to canvass the rights and wrongs of that time, when the Turks also claimed that as many of their people were massacred by Armenians. It was all in the period of World War 1 and should have been buried with the other millions of dead from all sides in that conflagration.

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