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Russian Ambassador Killed in Turkey – How and Why?

One of recent events that happened in the world politics was the murder of Andrey Karlov – the Russian ambassador in Turkey. The assassination has attracted a lot of attention worldwide but many things still remain unclear.

Let me start by telling how it all happened. Andrey Karlov was giving a speech at the opening of a photo exhibition in a museum of modern art in Ankara. At one point of his speech, a man appeared from behind and shot the ambassador.  Three other people were wounded. It is said that before the shootings the attacker shouted something close to: “We are dying in Aleppo, so you are dying here” and “You shot innocent people”. However, there is no actual proof of this, as it is based strictly on witnesses and the bits that were seen on the tape.

The main question that concerns me, and not only me, is why the security system – from both the Turkish and the Russian side – did not prevent this from happening and why did the attacker managed to escape the crime scene.

Soon after the killing of the ambassador, the attacker was involved in a shooting with Turkish forces, in which he was killed. Pictures of the scene soon got to the internet. Moreover, the policemen told that the killer had two associates, but nothing more than this is known. Shortly after these events, the identity of the attacker was published – a 22-year-old Turkish citizen Mevlut Altintas, who finished a police academy and was currently working in Special Forces. The Turkish government, on the other hand, states that he was currently removed from service, because he was suspcted of taking part in the military coup this summer. The fact that the attacker had a police certificate explains how he managed to get into the exhibition with a weapon.

Experts have opposite views concerning the reasons for this act. Some say it was a single act of a fanatic, who was not connected to any other serious institution. Others say that Mevlut was part of a terrorist organization and there is more to this murder than just fanaticism. Even this theory is also divided into several opinions. Some might say that it was an illegal organization in Turkey that has nothing to do with the government, while others think that it was a perfectly legal institution. The main argument for this is that allegedly there was a possibility of arresting Mevlut alive, which would help a lot in the investigation. However, he was killed right away by the special forces.

The main aim of Russia, in this case, is to figure out all the relations and connections Mevlut had and link him to whomever he was working for. The Turkish side promised that the investigation will be done at the highest possible level.

As of 8th of January, five suspects have been arrested. Four of them are fellow colleagues of Mevlut Altintas and one is an activist from an organization run by the opposition.

The timing of the murder is not an accident and has been chosen smartly for particular reasons, according to Kremlin. It was committed in order to worsen Russia-Turkey relations and to undermine efforts of the countries to come closer to the issue of solving Syrian conflict. Although there is no concrete proof whether this is true or not, this seems to make sense and may indeed be the case. However, Kremlin said that one should not jump to conclusions before the investigation is finished.

There is not a lot of information to be found on how the investigation goes and if there are any further details. It can be explained by the fact that this affair deals with a famous politician and international affairs between Russia and Turkey, so no rumors and the unproved information is wanted.

The Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov received a Hero of Russian Federation reward. A street in Ankara was renamed in his honor as well as an exhibition hall in the museum where the ambassador was killed. As promised by the Kremlin, those responsible for this act will be found and brought to justice.


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