Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey was shot dead on Monday by a Turkish Policeman in front of a shocked gathering at a photo exhibit and then, pacing near the body of his victim, appeared to condemn Russia’s military role in Syria, an assassin who told him shouting “we die in Aleppo, You die here”.
The gunman an off-duty policeman opened fire at an art gallery in Ankara as Andri Karlov was making a speech, then stood triumphantly over his body shouting “revenge for Syria and Aleppo. the leaders of turkey and Russia said the attack in Ankara, the Turkish capital, was an attempt to disrupt efforts to repair ties between their countries, which have backed opposing sides in the Syrian civil war.
An associated press photographer and others at the art gallery in horror as the gunman, who wad wearing a dark suit and tie , fired at least eight shots, at one point walking around Ambassador Andrei karlov as he lay motionless and shooting him again at close range. Three other people were wounded in the attack authorities said.
The killer was named on Monday night as Mevlut Mert Altintas a 22-year-old riot Squad police officer who has been based in Ankara for the past two years. He shouted “Allahu Akbar” God id great- as he pulled the trigger, but was unclear whether he was inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL or the rebels who have finally been crushed in Aleppo after four years of war.
Karlov was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition in Ankara when he was gunned down.
President Putin spoke on the phone to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the shooting and Moscow said it was “a tragic day in the history of our country and Russian diplomacy.
The attack condemned by the white House and the United Nations was another sign of how Turkey, a Nato Member and a partner in the US-led campaign against the Islamic State group is struggling to contain multiple security threats. The war in Syria has been a major problem for year. The war in Syria has been a major problem for years, sending several million refugees into turkey and more recently drawing in Turkish troops.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said; “We qualify what happened as a terrorist act. The murderers will be punished.
“Today this issue will be raised at the UN security Council. Terrorism will not win out.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin described the killing of Karlov as an attempt to damage Russia-Turkey ties. Putin said he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed in a phone call that Russian investigators would fly to Ankara to conduct a joint prove with their Turkish counterparts.
“We must know who was directing the killer,” Putin said in televised remarks. He ordered top officials to strengthen protection of the Turkish embassy in Moscow and asked Turkey to increase security at the Russian mission in Ankara.