On December 19th 2016 Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey G. Karlov, was assassinated in Ankara.
Ambassador Karlov was giving a speech during an art gallery opening of “Russia Through Turks’ Eyes” photo exhibition. He was ambushed, shot from behind and killed while speaking at the gallery.
During the attack the shooter screamed: “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” Turkish security forces attempted to arrest the assassin but he was determined not to be captured alive and was killed during struggle with the police.
It’s been made public since that the gunman was a 22 year old Turk, Mevlut Mert Altintas, who graduated from a police college and was a member of the Turkish police force.
The investigation of the gunman’s motives is on-going, but it’s believed that the assassination was an act of terror. (The war in Syria is in its 6th year. Turkey is currently home to over one million of Syria’s war refugees. A possibility of the killer being exposed to anti-Russian propaganda and / or being recruited by a terrorist organization with ties to the war in Syria are being considered.)
Turkey and Russia are working together not to allow this tragic event to further damage their relations already strained by the Syrian war. Even though United States and Russia represent opposite sides in the conflict in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry officially condemned the assassination:
“The United States condemns the assassination today in Ankara of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones, the Russian people, and with the other victims who were injured in this shooting.
We stand ready to offer assistance to Russia and Turkey as they investigate this despicable attack, which was also an assault on the right of all diplomats to safely and securely advance and represent their nations around the world.”
Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich