In 1895, during the Hamid pogroms, among the families who fled from Karin to Kars in Western Armenia, there were also the Yanikyan spouses. In the future, Gurgen, an eyewitness of the genocide, went a long and full of struggle. Later he settled  in the USA.

On January 27, 1973, Yanikyan invited the Turkish Consul and Vice Consul Mehmed Baydar and Bahadir Demiri to the Baltimore Hotel in Santa Barbara, California. The Turks accepted the invitation because Yanikyan hid his Armenian origin. 78-year-old Yanikyan fired 9 rounds in the direction of Turkish diplomats. He called the police, then upon arrival stated that he was the author of the murder. With these shots, the struggle of the Armenians began in Santa Barbara – a new stage of Armenian demands. Yanikyan was recognized as the spiritual founder of “ASALA” of the Armenian secret Army of the Liberation of Armenia. The Armenian writer and engineer, hero of the modern Armenian liberation struggle Gurgen Yanikyan, who was sentenced to life in prison, was transferred from prison to hospital on February 10, 1984, where he died 17 days later.