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Relics of ASALA founder Gourgen Yanikian to be reburied in Armenia

The relics of one of the founders of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, Gourgen Yanikian have been brought to Yerevan to be reburied in Yerablur military pantheon.

As the Yerevan office of Armenian People’s Movement reports the transfer is part of the initiative to bring the relics of Armenian heroes who fought for the rights of Armenians throughout the world to the Motherland.

The reburial ceremony of the hero will take place on Sunday May 5 in a service to be led by Voskan archbishop Galpakyan.

Yanikian is an Armenian Genocide survivor, best known for the assassination of two Turkish consular officials, Los Angeles Consul General Mehmet Baydar and Consul Bahadır Demir, in California in 1973. Sentenced to life imprisonment, Yanikian was released on parole in January 1984. It is widely believed that Yanikian’s act was the inspiration for the founding of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, the Armenian militant organization of the 1970s and 1980s which staged attacks on Turkish diplomats in retaliation for the Armenian Genocide.

Yanikian is known to have remarked, “I’m not Gourgen Yanikian but unacknowledged history coming back for the 1,500,000 Armenians whose bones desecrate my invisible existence.” In death, he became a symbol for many Armenians of their resentment toward the Turkish government for refusing to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. 


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