2016: Assassination of Andrei Karlov in Turkey

2016: Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov is assassinated while at an art exhibition in Ankara. The assassin, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, is shot and killed by a Turkish guard.

The assassination took place after a long period of highly polarized and incited political atmosphere in Turkey,and after several days of protests by Turks against Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War and in particular the battle over Aleppo. Russian and Turkish officials held talks on brokering a ceasefire in Syria during the evacuation of Aleppo. Russia, Turkey and Iran planned to meet to negotiate a settlement over the Syrian Civil War.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “Terrorism will not pass. We will fight it decisively.” President Vladimir Putin stated he believes “a crime has been committed and it was without doubt a provocation aimed at spoiling the normalization of Russo-Turkish relations and spoiling the Syrian peace process which is being actively pushed by Russia, Turkey, Iran and others”. He also ordered heightening of security measures at Russian embassies worldwide, and stated that “we need to know who guided the hand of the murderer”.

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