Russian ambassador to Turkey shot dead in Ankara
The gunman is said to be a policeman, some say a follower of exiled spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen.
Andrey Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, was shot dead by a policeman assigned to his security detail in Ankara on Friday. The assassination could have wide ramifications in the area and for world peace.
Karlov was shot dead at Cagdas Sanat Merkezi modern arts centre in Ankara where he was inaugurating an art exhibition. The Russian foreign ministry termed it an "act of terror." Russia and Iran support the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad while the United States supports the rebels who have waged war against Assad.
A Russian ambassador was gunned down in Turkey the day before high-level talks on Syria. pic.twitter.com/duTx6qHiz9
— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 20, 2016
TV reports said the killer then said, "Allahu akbar (God is great). Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria! Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria!" The gunman did tell people to move away from him by waving his gun at them.
Media reports from Turkey said the assailant was killed by other officers in a shootout.
— AP Images (@AP_Images) December 19, 2016
Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan saidthe attack is an attempt to undermine NATO-member Turkey's relations with Russia.
“We know that this is a provocation aiming to destroy the normalization process of Turkey-Russia relations,” Mr. Erdogan was quoted in media reports as saying.
“But the Russian government and the Turkish republic have the will to not fall into that provocation," he added.
Several conspiracy theories are doing the rounds, including that the assassin was a follower of exiled spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen.
Meanwhile, Russian President Putin ordered increased security at all Russian missions and added people behind this act would feel retribution.
“There can be only one answer to this — stepping up the fight against terrorism, and the bandits will feel this," Putin was quoted by the Russian television.