Andrey Karlov the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was shot dead on December 19, Monday night by a 22-year-old riot squad officer called Meblut Mert Altintas. As Mr. Karlov had a preference to never utilize security services for his personal protection, Mr. Altintas was able to place himself in a prime position to commit the murder.
Wearing a black suit and tie, Altintas cried “Allahu Akbar” as he pulled the trigger and killed 62-year-old Karlov. He then went on to shout in Arabic: “We have made an oath to Muhammad to die in martyrdom, a revenge for Syria and Aleppo,” and he continued in Turkish “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria.” There are suspicions he was tied to Al Nusra, as the slogans he shouted were remarkably similar to theirs.
On the night of December 19, Mr. Karlov had been giving a speech at an opening for a photography exhibition in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. After he was shot, he was rushed to hospital but declared dead upon arrival. There were no police officers at the scene when the assassination occurred, but as the speech was being televised, a camera managed to capture all the unfolding events even after the cameraman had fled.
Turkish police did finally arrive to the scene, and Atlintas cried “Only death can take me away from here. Whoever has a role in this cruelty, they will pay for it one by one. They will” as they shot him dead.
This assassination appears to be in protest for the Russian interventions in Syria. Turkey, along with the US led anti-ISIS coalition, had called for their cessation in October 2015.
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