Slain diplomat honoured, 30 years after his death
Published Sunday, August 26, 2012 5:49PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 26, 2012 6:24PM EDT
One of Canada's first international terrorist victims was honoured Sunday in west Ottawa, as the mysterious monument suspected to be for him remained cloaked.
Atilla Altikat was a military attaché for the Turkish government when he was gunned down Aug. 27, 1982 at the corner of Island Park Drive and what’s now called the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.
Mourners near the site Sunday said they were remembering the colonel as a loving husband and father.
“(I’m here to) celebrate the young officer’s life; who had family, who had kids, who basically was here to do his job,” said Jevat Zarrin.
“The last time I saw him alive was at a picnic that he organized in Gatineau a couple days before he was shot,” said former diplomat Paul Heinbecker.
“I came down to have a look at the place, it was a terrible day.”
Armenian extremists claimed responsibility for the shooting, one of a number of international attacks linked to the mass killings of their people in the early 20th century.
“I’m really shocked that after 30 years, Canadian justice has not been done,” said Ozay Mehmet of the Council of Turkish-Canadians.
A monument which was covered up near Sunday’s ceremony is in honour of Altikat, according to many members of the Turkish community and construction workers contacted by CTV Ottawa on Friday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said they wouldn’t confirm what the monument was for until the unveiling in September.
For now, mourners said their focus remains on moving forward from the attack – although they still hope the RCMP can find his killer,
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Katie Griffin