Dr Nenad Petrović

Strategic Research Institute

Belgrade, Serbia



Vol. XXXV, 2/2017, pp. 119–133


ABSTRACT/RESUME: Based on the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs data files, as well as on court records, the article gives an account of the March 9, 1983 assassination carried out by two young Armenian men in Belgrade. The assassination took place as the Turkish ambassador Galip Balkar was going in his car to the Foreign Ministry premises. The investigation failed to discover the main person behind the murder, the alleged third man who had supplied the weapons to the two attackers and who had directed their actions. Being the first of the kind in a socialist country, the episode drew a lot of public attention in Yugoslavia and worldwide. Since it was one in a series of assassinations of Turkish representatives abroad, it duly had the international weight. The assassins received their respective sentences of twenty and fifteen years of imprisonment. Their conviction prompted waves of protests of various Armenian organizations, exerting pressure on Yugoslavia to release the convicted men. Finally, after they had spent a few years in prison, SFRY Presidency granted them amnesty, and their expulsion from Yugoslavia followed suit. This particular instance has given the author the grounds to make a judgment about the problem of terrorism in the modern world. In conclusion, as long as different political interests exist, there will be different viewpoints on individual acts of terrorism: for some, they will mean a legitimate battle (national movement or class struggle), while others will consider it an unacceptable violence, evil in itself.


KEYWORDS: International terrorism, the Cold War, paramilitary organizations, the Armenians, Yugoslavia, Turkey



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