Turkish
American National Steering Committee

Embassy
Row Lecture Series

“The Assassination
of Mehmet Baydar and Bahadır Demir, Modern Tragedy in
Turkish-Armenian Relations”

Lecture
by

Professor
Christopher Gunn

5:00pm, Thursday
January 25, 2018

The Turkish Embassy

2525 Massachusetts Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20008

Reception to follow

Please Register
by January 23, 2018 through Eventbride:

LİNK : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/embassy-row-lecture-series-the-assassination-of-mehmet-baydar-and-bahadr-demir-a-modern-tragedy-in-tickets-41716966570

No Charge. Space is
limited.

On January 27, 1973,
the Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles, Mehmet Baydar, and
Vice Counsel Bahadir Demir visited an Armenian
American, Gourgen Yanikian in Santa Barbara.
Mr. Yanikian had invited the Turkish diplomats for tea. After
greeting Mr. Baydar and Mr. Demir, Mr. Yanikian left
the table briefly. He returned with a loaded gun and shot Mr. Baydar and
Mr. Demir dead. Mr. Demir did not die immediately, and was
shot several times. Yanikian called the police, admitted to the
murders, and was eventually tried and convicted of first degree murder, and sentenced
to life imprisonment. In January 1984, Armenian American Governor of
California, George Deukmejian, granted Yanikian early release. 

The Yanikian assassinations
inspired modern Armenian terrorism. Armenian extremists worldwide engaged in
organized terrorism. The Marxist, Secret Army for the Liberation of
Armenia (ASALA) and the Armenian National supremacist Justice Commandos (JCAG)
killed more than 70 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of
property damage worldwide. These groups assassinated more than 40 Turkish Diplomats,
including two more in the United States, Consul General to Los
Angeles Kemal Arikan and Honorary Consul General to
Boston Orhan Gunduz. On June 20, 1998, a bomb attack in Brussels,
Belgium, was claimed by a group calling itself, “The Gourken Yanikian
Military Unit”. The US Department of State 1998 Terror Report stated this was a
cover name used by ASALA. While Kemal Arikan’s
assassin, Hampig Sassounian, is serving a life sentence at San
Quentin, the assassin of Orhan Gunduz is still at large.

The
Speaker

Dr.
Christopher Gunn is a specialist on transnational violent extremism
and reconciliation. He received his B.A. in Foreign Affairs from the
University of Virginia, his M.A. in Political Science from the University of
Rhode Island and his Ph.D. in History from Florida State
University. Dr. Gunn spent the last decade researching in the
region, including Budapest, Istanbul, Ankara and Antalya. His focus
areas include Turkey, Cyprus, Balkans, Caucasus, and Eastern Mediterranean. He
teaches courses on the Ottoman Empire, modern Middle East, the Eastern
Mediterranean, and counter-terrorism. He is currently a faculty member in the
History Department of Coastal Carolina University.
     



























































THIS LECTURE IS UNDERWRITTEN BY DOCTOR HALIL MUTLU, CO-CHAIR OF TASC

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