MONTE MELKONYAN COULD HAVE BECOME 52 YESTERDAY
26.11.2009 19:00 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Hero of Karabakh war Monte Melkonyan (Avo) could have
celebrated his 52nd birthday on November 25. On that occasion, Martuni
regional center hosted events attended by NKR President Bako Sahakyan,
as well as commander’s companions-in-arms and inhabitants of Martuni.
Monte Melkonyan was born on November 25, 1957 in Varselia (a town
not far from Frezno), California. In 1969, his family moved to Spain.
After leaving school, Monte left for Turkey to see his ancestors’
lands. Later he moved to Lebanon. Upon his return to United States,
Monte entered Berkley Universit, to specialize in archaeology and
Asian history. After internship in Japan he worked as a teacher in the
Armenian schools of Iran and Lebanon (beginning 1957). Monte Melkonyan
knew 7 languages, and had the degree of Associate Professor of History.
In the 1970s, Monte Melkonyan took part in Lebanese Civil war. In
spring 1980, he joined ASALA. Monte planned and organized the seizure
of Turkish Embassy in France (known as Van operation) and several
other operations against Turkish representative offices in European
states. While ASALA member, he took part in the assassinations of
several Turkish diplomats in Europe during the early to mid-1980s
and was later arrested and sent to prison in France. In 1989, he
was released and in the following year, acquired a visa to travel
Throughout his tenure, Melkonian carried several different aliases
including "Abu Sindi", "Saro", "Timothy Sean McCormack" and "Commander
Avo"; the last of which was the name addressed by troops under his
command in Nagorno-Karabakh.
One of the outstanding, talented and experienced commanders, Monte
Melkonyan died in strange circumstances on June 12 1993 in Marzilu
village. He is revered by Armenians as a national hero.