NSW Police release audio in a renewed effort to solve the murder of a Turkish diplomat and bodyguard in Sydney in 1980

Police are hoping an audio recording of a woman claiming responsibility for the murder of a Turkish diplomat four decades ago in Sydney will help them solve the crime.

Sarik Ariyak, 50, and his bodyguard, Engin Sever, 28, were shot outside a house in Dover Heights on December 17, 1980.

Detectives are still searching for clues to the cold case deaths, despite releasing a $1million reward for information and conducting new research in recent years.

Police today released a recording of a phone call from a woman who called a media organization shortly after the couple were killed, claiming responsibility for the killing on behalf of Genocide Justice Commandos Armenian.

They hope the one-minute recording could generate new leads into the unsolved murders.

The woman says, “Turkish institutions are our target.”

Turkish Consul General Sarik Ariyak and his bodyguard Engin Sever were shot dead in Sydney.(Provided: New South Wales Police)

Investigators are also asking for help deciphering the words spoken after “The perpetrators of…” in case they are important to the investigation.

The massacre took place in 1915 during World War I, when an estimated one million Armenians were killed or died of starvation or disease while being deported on mass marches.

Several governments, including that of New South Wales, have called the events a genocide, a claim disputed by Turkey.

Mr Ariyak and Mr Sever were leaving a residence in Portland Street, Dover Heights, in separate vehicles when they were accosted by two unidentified men who fired several shots at close range before fleeing on a motorbike.

Police said Mr Ariyak died at the scene and Mr Sever died shortly afterwards at St Vincent’s Hospital.

Following a review of the case, police divers combed the ground in Sydney Harbor in August 2020 looking for “items of interest”.

No one has ever been charged for this crime.

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Police divers conduct underwater search for items linked to death of Turkish diplomat(Provided: New South Wales Police)

The homicide is now being re-investigated by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT), which includes the NSW Police, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization and the NSW Crime Commission.

The Deputy Commander of Counterterrorism and Special Tactics, Deputy Commissioner Mark Walton, asked people to listen carefully to the recording.

“As we continue this investigation, we suspect there are people who know exactly what happened that day but have not yet wanted to speak to authorities,” Assistant Commissioner Walton said.

“We would like to hear from these people as soon as possible, as well as anyone whose memory may be refreshed by the audio we have released, however insignificant the information may seem, it could be invaluable to the investigation.”

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