Colonel Atilla Altıkat
Colonel Atilla Altıkat was the Turkish military attaché to Ottawa who was assassinated 32 years ago on August 27, 1982.
We as a new generation of Turkish Canadians, would like to remember Colonel Atilla Altıkat. We remind our community of the importance of living in peace, learning from our past and looking to the future – with hope and love for all of humanity.
He was on his way to work when he stopped for a red light at Island Park Drive around 9:00 am, near the Ottawa River, and another car stopped nearby. Witnesses said a lone gunman emerged from the second vehicle, went to the passenger side of Col. Altıkat’s car and fired some 10 shots from a 9mm handgun through the window, killing the diplomat instantly. The gunman ran into the cover of some nearby bushes and the driver of his car sped away.
The incident was the only time a foreign diplomat had been killed on Canadian soil, and the perpetrators of the crime are still at large and yet to be brought to justice.
His daughter Zeynep was 17 years old and his son Göker was 4 years old at the time of the assassination.
Colonel Altıkat was one of the 42 Turkish diplomats whose lives were taken by the cowardly hand of terrorism in a series of attacks between 1973 and 1986. It was the first and only act of terrorism against a diplomat on this great land of freedom. The assassination of Colonel Altıkat has illustrated that old wounds and historic events still have the potential to trigger hatred in our community. Ultimately, this resulted in the taking of the life of an innocent man, and father of two – on the streets of our capital, Ottawa.