Number 218 | January 28, 2013
On January 27, 1973, Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles Mehmet Baydar and Vice Consul Bahadir Demir were killed by an Armenian terrorist named Kourken Yanikian at the Baltimore Hotel in Santa Barbara. Yanikian was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment only to be released by California Governor George Deukmejian, of Armenian descent, after serving less than 11 years in prison. When Yanikian died shortly after his release, several hundred Armenian Americans attended his funeral and a memorial grave was built in his honor. The Armenian community’s embrace of this brutal act set the stage for a wave of terrorism that would last for over two decades.
The anniversary of this killing was “marked” by Armenian terrorists on January 28, 1982 with the murder of Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles Kemal Arikan, as he was waiting at an intersection in his car. On May 4, 1982, a gunman murdered Turkish Honorary Consul General Orhan Gunduz in Boston, while he was waiting in his automobile in rush-hour traffic. An Armenian terrorist organization, Justice Commandos against Armenian Genocide (JCAG) claimed responsibility. Mr.Gunduz’s murder remains unsolved to this day.
The terror campaign of Armenian organizations worldwide continued until 1995 with a total of 239 acts of terror carried out in 38 cities and 21 countries. Of the 239 terrorist attacks, 71 were conducted by Armenian Americans, and 30 occurred on American soil. According to the FBI, between 1980-86, Armenian terrorism accounted for the second highest number of terrorist incidents in the United States. 70 people, mainly Turkish diplomats and their family members, were murdered, over 500 were wounded in these attacks. The Armenian terrorist bombing campaign caused 160 incidents of property destruction, totaling several hundred million dollars in property damage in the United States, Europe, Middle East and Australia.
A shocking connetion between Armenian American leaders and the terror groups was unraveled in 1999, when Mourad Topalian, the then chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), was indicted by a grand jury in Ohio on charges of participating in the 1980 bombing of the Turkish Mission in New York. Topalian was sentenced in 2001 to 37 months in prison for storing stolen explosives, which prosecutors insisted were used in the Turkish Mission bombing, and owning two machine guns. When the federal charges were filed, Topalian resigned from his post at the ANCA, but continued to receive support from Armenian Americans nationwide for his legal defense fund.