ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish policeman, wearing a suit and tie, has shot dead Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov on Monday at an art exhibition, as a punishment for Russia’s aggressive military role in Syria.
The gunman was heard shouting, “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria… ‘We die in Aleppo, you die here’
Russia regarded the shooting of the ambassador as a terrorist act.
Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador, was assassinated while he was preparing a speech about Russia’s policy in Syria.
The attacker, identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas, a 22-year-old member of Ankara’s riot police squad, was later killed by police.
The last few months witnessed several protests by Turks against Russia’s support for President Bashar Assad in the Syrian and Russia’s role in the bombardment of Aleppo.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the killing of Karlov as an attempt to damage Russia-Turkey ties “and to thwart a peace process in Syria which Russia, Turkey and Iran have been actively trying to promote,” according to AP.
Turkish TV state channels showed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying: “This is a provocation to damage the normalization process of Turkish-Russian relations. But both the Russian and Turkish administrations have the determination not to fall for this provocation.”