Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was shot dead on Monday by Mevlut Mert Altintas an off-duty officer who was part of the Turkish riot police for the last 2 years and was on a leave of absence, shouted: “We die in Aleppo, you die here.” and “revenge for Syria and Aleppo”
A camera that was still broadcasting after its operator had fled, recorded Altintas shouting in Arabic: “We have made an oath to Muhammad to die in martyrdom…a revenge for Syria and Aleppo.”
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Altintas – opened fire in the art gallery in Ankara, after walking casually through the entrance producing his police ID to enter the gallery and as Andrei Karlov was making his speech. It is believed that Altintas shot into the air before shooting Mr Karlov in the back several times with witnesses claiming he (Altintas) stood over Mr Karlov and shot him “one or two more times” as he lay dying on the floor.
Hasim Kilic, a correspondent with Hurriyet newspaper who was at the event said: “It all happened very quickly. As the ambassador took to the lectern to speak, the attacker shouted a few things about Aleppo.
“People wanted to get out. The attacker fired in the air a few times. Then, aiming straight for the ambassador, he fired four or five shots. As far as I know, the ambassador doesn’t go out and about with security protection. He’s not that kind of ambassador. So he didn’t have any security officers by his side. Nor were there any police inside the Modern Arts Centre. The attacker shouted some religious slogans as he opened fire.”
Courtesy of telegraph.co.uk
Altintas’s leave of absence
Altintas’s actions after the July 15th failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization) of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, have also started to emerge.
Altıntas reportedly took a leave of absence for two days after the failed July 15th coup attempt in Turkey. He was on duty in the south-eastern province of Diyarbakır on July 15th, but arrived in Ankara on July 16th after obtaining a leave of absence where he stayed in a house in the Demetevler district of the Turkish capital
Altıntaş himself was suspended over suspected links to FETO on Oct. 4 but was returned to duty on Nov. 16.
The police chief who allowed him to take the leave of absence, Kahraman Sezer, was arrested after the failed coup attempt over links to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.
Turkish news agency Anadolu, without citing sources, said the shooter’s family home in the western province of Aydin was searched and his mother, father and sister were detained.
Anadolu also says the man’s house in Ankara was raided and his roommate, also a riot police officer, was detained.
See below for the first hour of local media coverage of the shooting: