Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was shot at an art exhibition in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Dec. 19. Karlov was shot by a gun while making a speech at a photography exhibition in the Turkish capital, the embassy said, adding that it believed that it was a radical Islamist attack.
The attack comes one day before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu heads to Moscow for talks on Syria with his Russian and Iranian counterparts, Sergei Lavrov and Javad Zarif, respectively.
Çavuşoğlu was on the plane to Moscow during the time of the attack.
The attack comes one day before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu heads to Moscow for talks on Syria with his Russian and Iranian counterparts. The attacker might be still inside the building and that Karlov had not yet been removed to hospital.
Hürriyet reporter Haşim Kılıç, who was at the scene during the attack, said attendants at the exhibit ran away after the attacker fired into the air. The attacker then targeted Karlov, Kılıç said.
Special forces surrounded the building in preparation for an operation amid the sound of gunshots, witnessed confirmed.
In addition, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu also arrived at the scene.
Meanwhile, Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin was studying a report on the attack. Russian Foreign Ministry also said the Russian side was in contact with Turkish authorities about the attack. The exhibition was held by the embassy at a cultural center in central Ankara and was announced one week earlier.
A private guard does not accompany Karlov in such public occasions.
Hürriyet Ankara representative Deniz Zeyrek said the attacker first shot into the air and later shot the envoy in the back.
He shot the envoy for the second time after the scene was evacuated. It has also been reported that the attacker entered the scene by showing a police identity and wearing a suit.
The attacker reportedly shouted “I will not leave here alive do not approach me.”
Mr. Karlov, who started his career as a diplomat in 1976, worked extensively in North Korea over three decades, before moving to Ankara in 2007, according to a biography on the Russian Embassy’s website. He became ambassador in July 2013.
UPDATE: Russia said ambassador to Ankara has died after gun attack.