June 16, 1983, Turkey. They thoroughly familiarized themselves with the area where the operation was to take place. They had studied each street in the city to such detail that they had no difficulties after landing and when reaching the closed market of Istanbul.
According to the combat mission, the group was to seize a military base, take high-level officers hostage, and then publicly announce their political demands. In particular, they were to demand the release of their comrades from prisons in Europe and the USA, while not allowing casualties among civilians.
The shootout began suddenly. All three fighters did not expect to confront heavily armed detachments of the internal security forces face to face. They had been betrayed.
The youngest in the detachment was Mkrtich, but it was his determined voice that sounded in this difficult moment:
“As soon as possible get to the market, mix with the crowd, I will take the hit.”
And since the comrades did not want to leave him, he shouted with all his might:
“Do not waste time, I’ll catch up with you!”
As soon as he was alone, he sighed freely. He allowed the army, police, and special services to surround him. And at that moment, when the muzzles of the machine guns were aimed in his direction, he understood that the moment had come.
Slowly raising his arms, he made it clear that he was giving up. He put his hands on his shoulders, showing the soldiers around him that he would only negotiate with high-ranking officers. In the heavy silence, time passed slowly, and strong tension was even felt in the air.
Then, suddenly, the ring opened. The gates of the military base opened, and three officers with embroidered gold stripes appeared accompanied by a guard detachment. They began to slowly approach Mkrtich. There were two steps left, one…
At the last moment, agents of the special services attempted to put handcuffs on Mkrtich’s hands. But he broke out, in an instant took out a hand grenade, pulled out the pin, and threw it.
“Levon, I have avenged you! Don’t think about it, others will come and will avenge me!”
The smoke from the explosion dissipated slowly and heavily. In the center of the square lied 18 years old Mkrtich Madaryan. And around him were 3 officers and 23 soldiers of the Turkish army.
The great son of the Armenian people, ASALA fighter, 18 years old hero Mkrtich Madaryan. Operation of ASALA “Covered Market.”