Police are appealing for information into the assassination of a Turkish diplomat and his bodyguard in Sydney more than four decades ago, releasing audio of a claim of responsibility.
In the recording, a female voice is heard taken responsibility for the deaths of Turkish Consul-General Sarik Ariyak, aged 50, and his bodyguard, Engin Sever, aged 28.
The pair were shot outside a home in Dover Heights about 9:45 a.m. on December 17, 1980.
No-one has ever been charged over the murders, and a $1 million reward is on offer for anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest and conviction.
The female voice claims the assassination was done on behalf of “of the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide.”
The assassination of Ariyak and Sever was the first international politically motivated attack on Australian soil.
Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, has urged the community to listen to the recording intently as investigators are also seeking assistance to decipher inaudible words spoken after: “The authors of…”
“Identifying the female through her voice – or recognizing any indecipherable words in the audio – will greatly assist us with this investigation,” Walton said.
“Police have strong reason to believe that there are members of the public who are aware of who this person is, and we urge them to come forward.
“While we continue this investigation, we suspect there are people who know exactly what happened that day but have not yet been willing to speak with authorities.
“We’d like to hear from these people as soon as possible, as well as anyone whose memory may be refreshed by the audio we’ve released – no matter how insignificant the information may seem, it could be invaluable to the investigation.”
Ariyak and Sever were killed as they left the residence in separate vehicles.
Police said they were approached by two men who fired “multiple shots at close range”.
They fled the scene on a motorbike.
Ariyak died on the scene and Sever passed away a short time later at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst.