Turkiye commemorates diplomat assassinated by Armenian terrorists in 1976
Turkiye on Wednesday remembered its diplomat assassinated by an Armenian terror group in 1976.
“We remember with respect our martyr Oktar Cirit, First Secretary of our Embassy in Lebanon, assassinated in a heinous attack by the Armenian terrorist organization ASALA in Beirut on 16 February 1976,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.
Cirit was shot in his back with a suppressed gun while he was in Beirut. Assassins ran away with his vehicle. Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to data compiled by Anadolu Agency, a total of 77 people -- 58 of them Turkish citizens, including 31 diplomats and members of their families -- were killed in attacks from 1973 to 1986 carried out by terrorist groups: ASALA, Justice Commandos of the "Armenian Genocide" (JCAG), and the Armenian Revolutionary Army (ARA).
The deadly campaign began in 1973 with the assassination of Turkiye's Consul General in Los Angeles Mehmet Baydar and diplomat Bahadir Demir by a terrorist named Gourgen Yanikian.
ASALA was the first Armenian terrorist group to wage war against Turkiye. It not only targeted Turkiye, but also other countries, and it became notorious for a 1975 bomb attack on the World Council of Churches' Beirut office.
The JCAG initially gained notoriety after claiming responsibility, with ASALA, for the Oct. 22, 1975 assassination of Danis Tunaligil, Turkiye's ambassador in Vienna.
The ARA is believed to be a continuation of the JCAG under a different name.