18 March- Martyr's day

Ali Savut 18.03.2011
Speech by the Ambassador on 18 March 2011
at the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon

We are gathered here for a short meeting to remember the victims of two terrorist attacks perpetrated in Lisbon in 1982 and 1983.

We wanted this ceremony to be a simple and dignified one, to pay our respects to them.

The first incident was an attack that happened on 7 June 1982.Mr. Erkut Akbay, A diplomat at this embassy and his wife Nadide Akbay also employee of the embassy were killed by terrorists in their car, in front of their home, not far from here.

The second attack was perpetrated on 27 July 1983. A group of Armenian terrorists tried to raid the embassy and, when the attack failed, entered the residence to take hostages.Then they blew themselves up. In the incident, the wife of the chargé d’affaires, Mrs.Cahide Mihçioğlu and a Portuguese police officer Mr.Manuel Pacheco were killed. The 5 terrorists also died. The chargé d’affaires and his son were rescued, with injuries.

Turkey thanked Portuguese authorities for swift anti-terrorist action. We are glad that Mr. Iris and Mr. Túlio who were actively involved in the operations are with us today.

In the background of these incidents, there is the wish of Armenian groups who wanted to impose to the world opinion, their version of tragic events that took place in 1915 in Eastern Anatolia. Some of these groups chose terrorism to promote their allegations. Terror organizations such as ASALA carried out many attacks on Turkish diplomats. These terrorists did not think that their victims and maybe even the parents of their victims were not born in 1915. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, more than 30 of our diplomats and their family members were killed. We will always remember our martyrs with respect.

We will also remember with respect Manuel Pacheco who gave his life in the line of duty. He died, trying to protect this embassy. He was a hero. Today we are honored that his wife and daughter could attend this ceremony.

I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to Portuguese authorities and police forces for the serious and professional way they assure the security of this embassy and that of other Turkish organizations and citizens.

To conclude, we strongly condemn all kind of terrorism as a global threat against humanity. Terrorism has no nationality or religion and nothing can justify it.

May the Akbays, Mrs. Mihçioğlu and Mr.Pacheco rest in peace.


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