Turkish victims of 1978 Armenian terrorist attack remembered in Madrid

By Senhan Bolelli

MADRID (AA) – A commemoration ceremony in Madrid took place on Wednesday to mark the 43rd year of the assassination of the wife of a retired Turkish Ambassador to Madrid, Zeki Kuneralp, by an Armenian terrorist group.

On June 2, 1978, Necla Kuneralp was assassinated by the so-called Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG) in Madrid along with her brother, retired Ambassador Besir Balcioglu, and driver of her diplomatic vehicle, Antonio Torres.

The attack was just one of the assassinations of Turkish diplomats and family members around the world by Armenian terror groups the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) and the JCAG.

"Terrorism is a crime against humanity," said Turkey's Ambassador to Madrid Burak Akcapar during the ceremony. "We must not listen to the narrative of those who feel hatred. And we must oppose the use of history as an instrument to perpetuate it."

"Therefore, I would like to dedicate a few words to those who pontificate on this matter for political purposes: do not become the tool of terrorists. Don't help perpetuate hatred," Akcapar continued.

Noting that Turkey knows that Spanish people understand "very well" the pain caused by terrorism, he said: "Like the Turkish people, the Spanish people have also experienced the cruelty of terrorism. Turks, Spaniards, Armenians, we are all equal in the face of death."

"We condemn all the terrorists who have brutally attacked humanity to impose their ideas," he added.

The ambassador also laid a wreath where the incident took place with other participants.

The ceremony was attended by Spanish Senator Gutierrez Limones, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Combating Terrorism, Drugs and International Criminal Organizations of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Ruiz Gonzalez and ambassadors of Palestine and Azerbaijan.

Diplomats working in the Madrid embassies of Portugal, Qatar, and Pakistan, representatives of the Police and Gendarmerie, or Guardia Civil, and citizens were also part of the event.

– ASALA and JCAG terrror groups

Founded in 1975 in Beirut, Lebanon, during the Lebanese Civil War, ASALA and JCAG were blamed for hundreds of deadly terror acts.

They were the first two Armenian terrorist organizations to wage war against Turkey.

In order to compel the Turkish government "to acknowledge publicly its responsibility for the so-called Armenian genocide in 1915, pay reparations, and cede territory for an ‘Armenian homeland’," ASALA martyred Turkish diplomats in numerous terrorist attacks.

The JCAG targeted only Turkey because it believed that attacking other countries would damage the so-called "Armenian struggle."

It initially gained notoriety by claiming responsibility with ASALA for an attack on Turkey’s Ambassador in Vienna, Danis Tunaligil, on Oct. 22, 1975.

* Beyza Binnur Donmez in Ankara contributed to this story