Police are calling on the public to help solve an assassination cold case from more than 40 years ago involving a Turkish diplomat and his bodyguard by listening to a phone call recording in the hopes of identifying the caller and to decipher its message.
Turkish Consul-General Sarik Ariyak, 50, and his bodyguard Engin Sever, 28, were shot outside a residence in Dover Heights in Sydney’s east on December 17, 1980, by two men who fled on motorcycles after the shooting.
Ariyak died at the scene while Sever died a short time after in hospital.
Shortly after the shooting, an Armenian terrorist group – the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide – claimed responsibility for the killings but no one has ever been charged despite an extensive investigation by police.
It was one of the first international politically motivated attacks on Australian soil, described by police as “calculated, deliberate” and “brutal”.
In 2019, the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team – consisting of the NSW Police, Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization and the NSW Crime Commission – launched a review and re-investigation into the case.
As part of its re-opening, detectives released an audio recording on Wednesday that contains the voice of a person who claims responsibility for the attack. The call was made by a woman to multiple media outlets after the shooting.
Investigators are asking for help to decipher inaudible words spoken in the audio clip after the words “the authors of” to identify their significance to the investigation, and for help to identify the woman.