Community Information Service
January 23, 2013 / No:344
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Assassination of Los Angeles Turkish Consul General
Marks 40th Anniversary of Modern Armenian Terrorism

Mehmet Baydar
Bahadir Demir

On Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm, Washingtonians will gather at the Turkish Embassy, 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008 to remember Mehmet Baydar and Bahadir Demir, the first victims of modern Armenian terrorism. 

On January 27, 1973, Armenian American extremist, Gourgen Yanikian, assassinated the Los Angeles Turkish Consul General, Mehmet Baydar, and Vice Consul, Bahadir Demir, after inviting the Turkish diplomats to his hotel suite to present the Turkish Government with "gifts." The gifts were a bank note and a painting stolen from the Ottoman Topkapi Palace. After greeting the diplomats, exchanging niceties, and offering chai, Yanikian left for his bedroom, retrieved his loaded weapon, entered the reception suite, and emptied nine rounds into the bodies of Messrs. Baydar and Demir. Yanikian shot two additional rounds into the heads of both men who already lied dead in a pool of blood. 

Yanikian then put down his weapon, called the concierge, admitted to the killings, and waited for the police to come and arrest him. That day, Armenian papers published a letter from Yanikian urging Armenians to wage war on people of Turkish heritage. 

Yanikian was tried in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Santa Barbara, convicted of first degree murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment on July 2, 1973. However, California's Armenian American Governor, George Deukmejian, ordered the release of Yanikian on parole on January 31, 1984. Please click here to read the trial transcripts. 

The bodies of Messrs. Baydar and Demir were returned to Turkey for family funerals. Mr. Baydar left behind a widow and two daughters. Mr. Demir, who was newly married, was on his first foreign assignment.
Yanikian died soon after his release from prison. Hundreds of Armenian Americans attended the funeral of Yanikan. Many kissed his hands in the open coffin ceremony. 
Patriotism Perverted: Funeral of Yanikian 
The Yanikian murders were the start of modern Armenian terrorism by the Marxist Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) and neo-fascist Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG). To date, ASALA and JCAG, have carried out over 300 terror attacks and hate crimes against people of Turkish heritage. In the 1980s, Turkish and Israeli intelligence cooperated to uproot Armenian terrorists in Lebanon's Syrian-occupied Bekaa Valley. 
The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) is dedicated to seeking justice for victims off Armenian terrorism and hate crimes. ATAA submitted a Victims Impact Statement at the Criminal Sentencing Hearing of Mourad Topalian, former JCAG terror cell chief and former Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). ATAA also appears at the Parole Hearings of Hampig Sassounian, the sole remaining Armenian terrorist of the JCAG, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of Turkish Consul General Kemal Arikan on January 28, 1982.



Turkish Diplomats Killed by Armenian Terrorists 


ATAA, representing over 60 local chapters and 500,000 Turkish Americans throughout the United States, serves locally and in Washington DC to empower the Turkish American community through civic engagement, and to support strong US-Turkish relations through education and advocacy.  Established in 1979, ATAA is the largest, democratically elected Turkish American membership organization in the United States.  As a non-faith based organization, ATAA is open to people of diverse backgrounds.  The ATAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed under the laws of the District of Columbia. To learn more about ATAA, please visit

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