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Russian ambassador to Turkey shot dead in Ankara, Moscow terms it 'terrorist act'

Updated Dec 20, 2016 02:20am


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A man gestures near to the body of a man at a photo gallery in Ankara. -AP
A man gestures near to the body of a man at a photo gallery in Ankara. -AP
Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, speaks at a photo exhibition in Ankara. -AP
Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, speaks at a photo exhibition in Ankara. -AP

A Turkish policeman crying “Aleppo” and “revenge” shot dead Russia's ambassador to Turkey at an art exhibition in Ankara on Monday, in what Moscow said was a “terrorist act”.

Andrei Karlov died of his wounds after the shooting, which occurred on the eve of a key meeting between the Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers on the Syria conflict.

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov. -Reuters
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov. -Reuters

“Today in Ankara as a result of an attack the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov received wounds that he died from,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in televised comments.

“We qualify what happened as a terrorist act.” The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had been informed of the attack.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin to share information about the shooting of Moscow's ambassador to Ankara, a Turkish official said.

Dramatic television footage showed a man in a dark suit and tie waving a gun and gesturing in the air at the Ankara exhibition hall.

Key updates

  • Attacker was a Turkish policeman
  • Moscow terms it as a "terrorist act"
  • Three other people wounded
  • Attack happened at the Cagdas Sanatlar Merkezi in Ankara
  • Gunman was standing behind the ambassador

The state-run Anadolu news agency said the gunman had been “neutralised” in a police operation, without giving further details.

The incident came after days of protests in Turkey over Russia's role in Syria, although Moscow and Ankara are now working closely together to evacuate citizens from the battered city of Aleppo.

Pictures published by the Hurriyet daily showed at least two men in suits lying flat on the ground as another man brandished a gun.

The mayor of Ankara identified the attacker as a Turkish policeman.

'People fleeing'

The shooting took place at the Cagdas Sanatlar Merkezi, a major art exhibition hall in the Cankaya district of Ankara where most foreign embassies are located including Russia's mission.

“It happened during the opening of an exhibition,” Hurriyet correspondent Hasim Kilic, who was at the scene, told AFP.

“When the ambassador was delivering a speech, a tall man wearing a suit, fired into the air first and then took aim at the ambassador,” said Kilic.

“He said something about Aleppo and 'revenge'. He ordered the civilians to leave the room. When people were fleeing, he fired again,” he added.

Protesters in Turkey have held Moscow responsible for human rights violations in Aleppo.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu was at the scene to supervise a police operation, Turkish television said.

Condemnations pour in

The United States moved quickly to condemn a gun attack in Ankara that killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey.

“We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

Syria also condemned the murder in neighbouring Turkey of the ambassador of its key ally Russia as a “despicable crime”, state news agency SANA said, quoting the foreign ministry.

“The Syrian republic condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly terrorist attack that led to the death of the Russian ambassador in Turkey, Andrei Karlov,” a ministry statement said.

“This despicable crime confirms once again the urgent need to expand all efforts and means to fight and eliminate terrorism,” it added.

Turkey and Russia saw relations plunge to their worst levels since the Cold War last year when a Turkish jet shot down a Russian war plane over Syria.

They stand on opposite sides of the Syria conflict with Ankara backing rebels trying to topple Moscow ally President Bashar al-Assad.

But the rhetoric has warmed considerably since a a reconciliation deal was signed earlier this year and a Russian and Turkish-brokered deal has helped the evacuation of citizens from Aleppo in the last days.

The attack comes a day before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, Assad's other key ally, were to hold unprecedented tripartite talks on the Syria conflict in Moscow.

A Turkish official on Monday denied Ankara had forged any secret “bargain” with Moscow over the future of Syria, despite the improving cooperation that led to the deal for evacuations from Aleppo.


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Comments (102) Closed

Fast Dec 19, 2016 09:53pm

Very bad news. Turkey stay strong. It is just to undermine the relationship between Russia and Turkey.

M.Saeed Dec 19, 2016 09:55pm

Foreign meddling in internal affairs of a country are increasingly becoming the crux of every international crisis. Need to confine local problems within to solve by give and take.

khan Dec 19, 2016 10:07pm

Aleppo has unfortunately become a battleground for Russia and USA. But the ambassadors are like guests. Shooting them can not be justified.

Imran Dec 19, 2016 10:09pm

What happened with the gunman?. Incomplete story.

naeem Dec 19, 2016 10:15pm

very sad :(

Jg Dec 19, 2016 10:17pm

Russia is a war criminal and so is america.if you let white man into ur country there will only be death and destruction.

Naqeeb Dec 19, 2016 10:19pm

Did someone who don't want turkey and Russia as a friend

Really shy Dec 19, 2016 10:41pm

What is wrong with you people? Killing people and then claiming how peaceful you all are

Sonya Dec 19, 2016 10:40pm

Today it looks like Syria is safer than Turkey.

ARSHAD JAVED Dec 19, 2016 10:44pm


raja Dec 19, 2016 10:50pm

Turkey going down the drain. Hard work of ataturk will go to waste

DSV Dec 19, 2016 10:49pm

This incident is very serious and can change the world politics.

Ero Dec 19, 2016 10:54pm

Turkey is loosing the plot. Slowly but surely.

Khyber Dec 19, 2016 10:55pm

Russian warplanes have been bombing civilians in Aleppo resulting in mass casualties. I wonder if Pakistan is going mount a protest.

DarthVADER Dec 19, 2016 10:54pm


DarthVADER Dec 19, 2016 10:55pm

This is serious serious matter.

DarthVADER Dec 19, 2016 10:59pm

Huge implications here with far reaching consequences

Muhammad Dec 19, 2016 11:01pm

I am afraid syrian conflict may become worst then the Vietnam and Afghan wars. God help us all

m@k Dec 19, 2016 11:03pm

Alas! feel sorry for the victim and his family...

...Dirty Politics can only begets dirty results

Jami Khan Dec 19, 2016 11:04pm

"Moscow said was a “terrorist act”". Agreed, after running humanitarian operation in Aleppo for months, they have every right to call this an act of terror.

Zak Dec 19, 2016 11:05pm

Both Turkey and Russia are friends, they should consult with Pakistan and resolve their differences, Pakistan should be consulted by Russia before taking any military action in Muslim countries in ME.

The Artist Dec 19, 2016 11:05pm

US doesn't want to give peace a chance !

SAT GOEL Dec 19, 2016 11:07pm

Very sad and disturbing incident. Where is our world heading to?

Princess_of_DHUMP Dec 19, 2016 11:13pm

Oh My Dear Turkey - What's happening to you. Reminds me of Salmaan Taseer Shaheed's murder. His too was a government assigned policeman

sana-1 Dec 19, 2016 11:17pm

Good revenge , neither the US nor Russia can play with Muslim lives.

kris Dec 19, 2016 11:21pm

According to UN, more than 400,000 people have been killed in Aleppo due to incessant bombing by Russia and Syria. It's amazing that not a single country in OIC has uttered a single word about it so far. It's human rights violation of highest order.

Abdul Dec 19, 2016 11:22pm

Russia is the key responsible in the massacre of Syrian people.

Sara Dec 19, 2016 11:25pm

Relations between Turkey and Russia are improving which is much to the disliking of Iran. This thing looks like a conspiracy to harm Turkey.

Abu HUMZA Dec 19, 2016 11:31pm

Really bad, any act of terrorism should always be condemned. s

h7n Dec 19, 2016 11:41pm

Indeed! Turkey is hot water.

Axomiya Dec 19, 2016 11:41pm

Next in line for chaos is Turkey.

Tamil Dec 19, 2016 11:41pm

yeah good luck getting russian support

peace Dec 19, 2016 11:41pm

cowardly attack. very sad.

Jiminy Cricket Dec 19, 2016 11:45pm

Though it is despicable and deeply saddening what's happening in Syria, it is unacceptable and totally barbaric to slaughter any country's emissary. This is absolutely no way to register any protest. Two wrongs never made a right. Very sad.

K KARMA Dec 19, 2016 11:44pm

I feel sorry for the people of Syria caught in proxy wars of all sorts of ideologies, groups, armies and great powers. This act might have been a lone wolf attack or a co ordinated attack of some major players but its sure to bring about a change in Russo-turkish relation and change in a whole lot of equation of relations of various powers.

Bilal Shafiq Dec 19, 2016 11:44pm

A sad incident, it should be condemned on every stage.

Magister Dec 19, 2016 11:45pm

Looks like things are going to get tough!

Rameez Dec 20, 2016 12:05am

What's going on in Turkey one of the only developed Muslim country and it's falling prey to terror

kamal pasha Dec 20, 2016 12:08am

Poor guy paid price for Russia's policies in ME.

Just sayin... Dec 20, 2016 12:08am

I come here and read many news about murders and terrorist attacks. But this news is different, it's leaving bad test in my mouth. Something inside me is telling me that this is going to take a very bad turn. Hope my gut feeling is absolutely wrong this time.

Sony Dec 20, 2016 12:06am

Cowardice from a police man...he supposed to protect not to kill people.

Alba Dec 20, 2016 12:09am

Erdogan alienated his army and police. Who can he trust? He may get even more paranoid.

Hamid Dec 20, 2016 12:09am

Reminiscent of Salmaan Taseer's assassination

saber Dec 20, 2016 12:15am

Welcome to anarchy ....

M.Saeed Dec 20, 2016 12:15am

A very unfortunate and ghastly action of whoever was behind. Turkish Government still not out of crisis after the coup attempt.

Alba Dec 20, 2016 12:17am

The Syrians certainly know a despicable crime when they see one.

Achaarya Dec 20, 2016 12:24am

Fruits of Erdogan's radicalization

Babu Desai Dec 20, 2016 12:24am

Not good for Turkey!

Frank Dec 20, 2016 12:28am

Extreme tragedies and total destruction wrought upon Aleppo and its population by specific governments are definitely very heartbreaking and obviously inciting some people for targeted revenge. Unfortunately its the soft targets and comparatively peaceful people who end up paying for various government's policies and political agendas. Hope and pray commonsense prevails in this time and further suffering of public is avoided

Swetha Dec 20, 2016 12:30am

Cowardice from a police man ...brings bad name to his nation

RÖY Dec 20, 2016 12:31am

Revange will bring Revange!

Aamir Dec 20, 2016 12:39am


Krishna Bhargav Dec 20, 2016 12:38am

What form of a "Protest" is this?... Such act will sadly increase the violence in Aleppo which won't help anyone.... Cant understand the rational behind such acts

Aditya Dec 20, 2016 12:55am

Price for the peace.

Vivek narain Dec 20, 2016 01:11am

@Rameez UAE is the most developed as well as the most peaceful islamic country

tayyab Dec 20, 2016 01:12am

Why attacker had to kill ambassador???...

M. Emad Dec 20, 2016 01:42am

Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey . . .

Safa Dec 20, 2016 02:18am

@Achaarya - oh please ! We can clearly see the incident has hidden political motives.

MK Dec 20, 2016 02:37am

Political frustrations always unfortunately get taken out on a common innocent civilian.

Khalistan, east punjab Dec 20, 2016 02:52am

Very bad! Condolences to his family

Green Dec 20, 2016 03:00am

@Just sayin... I agree with you!

Love putin Dec 20, 2016 04:27am

@Rameez Turkey was modernised by the great Kamal Ataturk. Erdogan is dragging it to stone age in the name of religion

vorshal Dec 20, 2016 04:48am

Really pathetic. Terrorist or not, what is wrong with these people? Who is going to trust them?

IMran Dec 20, 2016 05:29am

Shameful act. Turkey is going through a very troubling time.

Mohajir Dec 20, 2016 06:22am

Turkey has failed and now on path of becoming another Afghanistan, Syria or Yemen.

Sun Dec 20, 2016 06:30am

Such sad incident!! Turkey itself put itself in this game and now it is paying the result. We Pakistani condemn such brutal action, our thought are with his family and with Russian peoples. Such Great loss.

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Dec 20, 2016 06:28am

R.I.P Ambassador Mr. Andrei Karlov. My condolences to Mr Karlov's family and his loved ones. Love from Pakistan to his family and loved ones.

Asif A. Shah Dec 20, 2016 07:08am

@Hamid I agree that it is reminiscent of Qadri's attack on Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. It must be condemned in the strongest terms because the police officer had a duty to protect the Russian Ambassador.

himmat Dec 20, 2016 07:12am

It should be found, where he was radicalized and where he was trained.

Pakistani Dec 20, 2016 07:52am

dont worry its not what it sounds like, someone is asking russia to attack turkey, this is old trick ....... poor man in the picture doesnt have control of him mind and he does not know what he has done. Russia knows and the whole world this is game and they know who did it but noone will say it

Asif kamal Dec 20, 2016 08:03am

Any Act Of terrorism is Condemnable, and Totally condemned the World Powers who want to Change the scenario of world with Such Act's. My Prayers and thought's Going with his Family.

Kkl Dec 20, 2016 08:20am

Putin has done many mistakes....Russia is on wrong international policy path and all this will happen...its a reaction.

Azhar Durrani Dec 20, 2016 08:36am

This is the second time US intelligence has selected Turkey to deteriorate relations between Russia and Turkey. Objective is to bring both the countries in direct conflict enabling US to easily achieved its vested interest in European continent.

Zak Dec 20, 2016 08:37am

@Mohajir Turkey and Pakistan can never fail.

Muhammad Shafiq Dec 20, 2016 08:42am

The same kind of coward attack was done on Salman Taseer, Governor Punjab, Pakistan by his own security guard. Here police security guard killed his own guest. Protector become killer.

Anyway attack must be condemned and sympathy with deceased Russian Ambassador family.

Amer RAO Dec 20, 2016 08:47am

Very sad incident.

Ali Dec 20, 2016 08:50am

@peace And the killing of millions of syrians is not cowardly??

A Dec 20, 2016 09:05am

@Imran Gunman killed

ATIF Dec 20, 2016 09:21am

Example of how Erdogan has radicalized his people. Symptom of things to come.

the MUHAJIR Dec 20, 2016 09:30am

Turkey also joins the elite group of least safe countries.

Shuaib Dec 20, 2016 09:55am

Very sad news, All nations should pull their socks and get ready to eliminate human enemies in what manner or form they exist, world needs peace why destruction, fighting, shedding blood, killings etc just simply why???

mhw Dec 20, 2016 10:04am

sad! but why this event occur ? Russian killed hundred of thousand Muslims in Syria. World needs to understand and stop any war immediately.

Mohajir Dec 20, 2016 10:06am

@Zak Both have already failed. Delusions won't help. Wake up and realize the ground reality.

Taimur Dec 20, 2016 10:09am

Turkey is turning into another Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen due to policies of the rulers

DK PAMNANI Dec 20, 2016 10:12am

Another terrorist act.

GentleMan Dec 20, 2016 10:29am

Turkey is a country of peace loving people, don't know why such incidents are taking place over there

Salman Ahmad Dec 20, 2016 10:48am

I might sound paranoid here, but really; a few more politicians, diplomats, and a few of these so called world leaders "neutralized" the same way, and the situation will start getting better. But that would need to be done on a constant basis, from time to time. Call it Humanitarian Cleansing For the Peace of Mankind. Trust me on this one.

Ahmad Dec 20, 2016 01:34pm

@Fast Turkey and Russia are on Opposite Sides you know.

Mandy Dec 20, 2016 01:48pm

Wishing good luck to all Muslim countries.

bkt Dec 20, 2016 01:52pm

Not very different from the murder of Salman Taseer. Turkey must reign in its rhetoric or face the same downhill road that we had taken some years back.

KH Dec 20, 2016 04:22pm

This is very sad and condemnable, indeed. Terrortism is the hydra of this century and there should be no distinction that good and bad terrorism. It will definitely come back to swallow whoever abet its activities. Both Turkey and Russia are either abetting or tolerating terrorism. Such incidents may lead to rethink those countries are in this brackets so that this hydra can be contained.

KH Dec 20, 2016 04:31pm

@Zak, both Turkey and Pakistan failed already. Mustafa Kamal Ataturk has built a modern Turkey which now led by Erdugan is treading thru darkness.

Okhan Dec 20, 2016 04:36pm

Killing of russian ambassader a terorust act, but killing of thousends of people in Alepo (including women & children) is ok.

Bakhsh Dec 20, 2016 04:49pm

@Imran he was neutralized

Philosopher(from Australia) Dec 20, 2016 05:30pm

@Zak here it is world best diplomat.

nvV Dec 21, 2016 08:17am

@khan : I appreciate your comment. Come what may ambassadors must never be hurt. At least that is Indian ideology.

nvV Dec 21, 2016 08:25am

@Asif A. Shah : Thanks , but many people in this discussion also are NOT CONDEMNING. What do you tell them?

Love Your Country Dec 21, 2016 11:18am

@Okhan - since the war on terror started 15+ years ago, they coined a term called ''collateral damage'' for the killing of innocent men, women and children. Now it is so normal, that this term is not even used.

Rashid Sultan Dec 21, 2016 02:12pm

@Zak Pakistani leadership is in no position to advice anyone including their own children cos they know not what they dod or are required to do. Corrupt, short sighted emotionally disturbed unreliable untrustworthy lot!

Ustad Dec 21, 2016 03:37pm

@Fast Turkey stay strong?? it should be Russia stay strong.

Axomiya Dec 22, 2016 01:05am

@GentleMan Peace and peaceful have different meaning for different people. That's my conclusion.

Irshad Khalid Dec 22, 2016 07:27pm

After the failed coup against Erdogan, he revised his US supporting polices and improved relations with Russia. The assassination of Russian ambassador is a covet plot to sabotage relations between Russia and Turkey. But it won't work, Putin is smart enough and US game against Syria is about to over.