With shouts of “Allahu Akbar!” the young man drew his pistol and shot the Russian diplomat in the back. The camera that was filming Andrei Karlov in close-up twitched several times. The terrorist continued to yell and threaten with weapons – until he was eliminated by the arriving special forces. The investigation of the terrorist attack lasted four years, the defendants received from five years in prison to life in prison. But what this murder was for is still unclear.
On December 19, 2016, the ambassador opened the exhibition “Russia through the eyes of a traveler: from Kaliningrad to Kamchat-ka”. The event, prepared by the diplomatic mission, was held at the Center for Con-temporary Art in Ankara.
The diplomat walked over to the music stand and began his speech. Behind him stood a young man in a black suit – many mistook him for a bodyguard. After the shots, someone fell to the floor, someone ran out of the hall. Continuing to shoot at the ceiling, the extremist shouted: “Do you remember Syria, you remember Aleppo! We will not leave you alone! Only death will stop me!” Soon it was liquidated.
Andrei Gennadievich was taken to the hospital, but he died without regaining consciousness.
“I prayed that anyone, even paralyzed, would survive,” recalls the widow M-arina Karlova. “The autopsy report says that Andrei fell from his height, hit the back of his head, apparently lost consciousness.
The diplomat was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Russia. The street where the Russian embassy is located was named after him.
The killer is 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintash. After graduating from the Izmir Police College, he worked for two and a half years in the Ankara Police Special Forces Department. I went to the exhibition fifteen minutes before the ambassador arrived, showing his ID at the entrance.
In his apartment, the po-lice found a note: calling t-he United States and Russia evil, he promised to “kill the ambassador of one of these countries.” But the head of the American diplomatic mission is well gu-arded, so the choice fell on the Russian diplomat. The host country is under international law to ensure the safety of ambassadors and their families. Ambassado-rial guards are prohibited f-rom carrying weapons. Ka-rlov was really badly gua-rded.
The Turkish authorities immediately announced the attack. They blamed the opposition Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who has been hiding in Pennsylv-ania since 1999, and the F-ETO movement he created.
The religious figure himself – the main political op-ponent of the Turkish auth-orities and personally of President Erdogan – denies any involvement in the assassination of the ambassador.
He also denies accusations of organizing a failed military coup in July of the same 2016. FETO in Turkey was banned and declared terrorist.
They did not respond to threats
They were going to kill the Russian diplomat back in June 2016. Karlov was supposed to participate in the traditional iftar (dinner in the month of Ramadan) for ambassadors, but left on a business trip.
“Andrei had a presentiment of something. We were somehow driving with him in the car and suddenly he said:“
Marina, if I shout “lie down”, you will quickly lie down on the floor without asking questions. ”I asked: what about you? I felt uncomfortable, but he was calm. I realized that there were threats. Then they confirmed it to me. But no one responded to them, “says the widow.
The case was investigated for over four years. “I transferred all the powers to protect my interests in court to the Russian Embassy in Turkey.
I wrote a power of attorney. I was invited to the first meeting, but I refused, it’s too difficult,” Marina Karlova explained.
The verdicts were passed this spring. Some of the 28 accused are still wanted. 18 people were seated in the dock.
Six were acquitted, the rest were given from five to nine years in prison, five received life sentences. Under the article on terrorism, there were two:
Shahin Segut from FETO and Salih Yilmaz, the direct curator of the killer Andrei Karlov. A former intelligence officer, Vehbi Kurshadsch Akalyn will spend the rest of his days behind bars. It is believed that it was he who provided information about the diplomat to FETO.
The widow of the deceased was simply informed that “the trial took place, the perpetrators were convicted.” She doesn’t know any of them.
The guilty verdict contains the same FETO, which, according to the investigation, organized “a provocation aimed at deteriorating Russian-Turkish relations.”
“Ankara admitted that they were wrong”
In 2013, Altintash, while still studying at the police academy, came to FETO events several times. But after a loud political scandal around the “Gulenists” he cut off all ties with this movement.
Acquaintances told at the trial that he attended religious meetings, was very interested in Islam, while his statements and reasoning became more and more radical. But the investigation is sure that he was still a “Gulenist”.
He was greatly worried about the actions of the Russian military in the SAR, especially the offensive operation in Aleppo. He several times googled how to get to Syria, transferred money to structures supporting radical groups, shared dangerous thoughts in one of the chats. He criticized his own family for lack of religiosity.
Several videos of jihadists were found on his computer and phone. Altyntash has been praised for the assassination of al-Qaeda and Islamic State accounts.
The words shouted by the killer are reminiscent of the hymn song “Jabhat al-Nusra”.
International orientalist Yuri Mavashev does not exclude that some of the information was hidden from the public.
“It was very important for Turkey to punish those responsible. Not only for the sake of Andrei Gennadievich’s family, but also for security reasons,” the Turkologist explained. the Turkish authorities did not disclose this. “
Investigators were less interested in Altintash’s connections with radical Islamists than in his contacts with Fethullah Gulen’s supporters. And the motivation was limited by the desire to harm relations between Moscow and Ankara.
The tragic incident, as noted in the Russian Foreign Ministry, really left a “heavy mark on history.”