Russia Wades Into Turkey Envoy Murder Probe
Russia, on Tuesday, dispatched a team of investigators to investigate the killing of its Ambassador in Ankara.
About 20 experts from Russia’s security services and Foreign Ministry are to work with their Turkish counterparts. They are to probe the killing of Ambassador Andrey Karlov at an art gallery on Monday evening.
The assassin, identified as a Turkish law enforcement officer, shouted Islamist slogans while shooting the ambassador. He also denounced Russia’s military support for the Syrian government in that country’s bloody civil war.
Following a memorial ceremony attended by Turkish government officials and the wife of Karlov at Ankara airport, the body of the ambassador has been flown back to Russia.
Both countries have denounced the attack as a provocation intended to disrupt a rapprochement in bilateral relations.
“We will never allow anything to destroy or damage our relations with Russia,’’ Turkish President Recep Erdogan said in Istanbul.
Turkey and Russia support opposing sides in Syria. Both sides have been attempting to rebuild their relations in recent months after Turkish forces shot down a Russian warplane on the Turkish-Syrian border last year.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu met in Moscow on Tuesday. They met for a series of talks to focus on the fight against terrorism, particularly in war-torn Syria and Iraq.
The talks, which included Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, resulted in several agreements on anti-terrorism measures. They also agreed on the pursuit of peace in Syria as reported by Russian state media.
Russia, Turkey and Iran have expressed hope that they can act as mediators between Syria’s government and opposition forces to bring peace to the country.
Cavusoglu said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accepted a recommendation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to establish the joint investigation into the attack.
Turkish officials plan to rename the Russian embassy’s street in Ankara in honour of the ambassador.
“His name will live on in Ankara and in our hearts,’’ Cavusoglu said. Turkey officials have also concluded plans to name a street after the murdered diplomat.