Baku. 20 December. REPORT.AZ/ The proverb “Don’t kill the messenger” embodies all duties, immunity and functions of the ambassador. That’s why any pressure and attack targeting ambassador, diplomats and even simple technical specialist of embassy in any country is a reason of international scandal. Killing of the ambassador is worst kind of occasion that can overshadow relations between states. Governments in negative relations can assume this as an assault or aggression towards the state and take retaliatory action.
Russia’s ambassador in Turkey Andrey Karlov died yesterday in Ankara Guven Hospital of gunshot wound after being targeted by assassination attack.
Three more persons are reported to be injured in the incident.
Assassination was committed at opening ceremony in Modern Arts Center organized by Çankaya Municipality of Ankara.
When the ambassador was about to start his speech at the opening ceremony of exhibition entitled “Russia from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka with eyes of Turkish politicians”, unknown person shouting “You killed innocent people. Ya Allah, Bismillah. We will not allow your actions. I'm not going to get out of here alive, don’t approach me” wounded him with several gunshots. Then he fired several times into the air and demanded the attendants to leave the room.
Notably, the gunman, 22-year-old resident of Aydin city and former policeman, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş was immediately neutralized.
Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, who had been fired from service as a suspect in participation of 15 July coup attempt, found way inside the venue using his police ID.
Russian president Vladimir Putin described attack to the ambassador as provocation, which targets peace process in Syria: “Can be only one answer to this — stepping up the fight against terrorism”. He also stressed importance of reinforcing security of diplomatic offices and guaranty by Turkish side for security of Russian diplomatic representations.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan named the assasination of Russian ambassador in Ankara a provocation directed to bilateral ties and attack on Turkey: “Joint Russian-Turkish commission will be formed to investigate Russian ambassador’s death”.
On the same day police detained an armed man, who tried to get into US embassy. Details of the incident weren’t revealed.
By the way, embassies of Unites States and Russia in Ankara are located close to each other.
Notably, during 1973-1984 ASALA terrorist organization committed 23 attacks on Turkish diplomats in various countries. As a result, 31 Turkish diplomats were killed and tens of others injured.
Some of them are listed below:
Turkey’s senior consul in Los Angeles (USA) Bahadır Demir was assassinated in 1973, by American citizen of Armenian origin Gurgen Yanikyan.
Turkey’s ambassador in Austria Daniş Tunalıgil was killed in 1975, by 3 ASALA terrorists.
Turkey’s ambassador in France Ismail Erez and his driver Talip Yener were killed in 1975, by ASALA in Paris.
Turkey’s ambassador in Greece Galib Özmen and his 14-year-old daughter Neslihan Özmen were killed in 1980, by ASALA in Athens.
Turkey’s ambassador in France Reşat Moralı and attaché on religious issues Teceli Arı were killed in Paris.
Turkey’s senior consul in Los Angeles Kemal Arıkan and senior consul in Boston Orhan Gündüz became victims of terror in January and May of 1982. In the same year Turkish ambassador in Canada Atilla Altıkat was martyred in attack in Ottawa.
In 1983 Turkey’s ambassador in Yugoslavia Galib Balkar was assassinated by Yugoslavian student. In 1984 Işık Yönder – husband of secretary in Turkish embassy in Iran Şadiye Yönder was killed by ASALA gunman.
Russia is successor of USSR. From this point of view, assassinations of Soviet diplomats in 20th century can be regarded as a part of Russian history. In 1923 Soviet representative in Switzerland Vatslaw Vorvski was killed by white guard. In 1926 diplomatic courier of Soviet Union Teodor Nette was killed in armed attack. In 1927 USSR’s representative in Poland P.Voykov was deadly injured in armed assault.
In 1927 USSR’s consulate in Guangzhou, China was destroyed and five diplomats - A.Khassis, P.Makarov, V.Ukolov, K.Ivanov and F.Popov were shot dead.
In 1976 employee of USSR’s embassy in USA S.Stepanov became victim of armed terror. On March 21, 1985, employee of Soviet embassy in India V.Khitrichenko was assassinated in Dehli.
On September 30, 1985, Soviet consular attaché in Beirut Arkady Katkov was killed by “Khaled Bin-Valid – Islamic Liberation Organization”.
According to official information from Libya, US ambassador John Cristopher Stevens and three employees of the embassy were killed as a result of attack to US embassy on September 11, 2012.
Unfortunately, such incidents take place in the history. Sometimes incidents like invasion offenders in venues of embassies are neutralized without harm to personnel.
On November 4 of this year PKK supporters attacked Turkeys embassy in Paris. They threw ‘Molotov cocktails’ into the building. Another incident took place in France, when someone hung PKK symbols at Turkeys embassy in France.
Both Ankara and Moscow, in their statements, named the assassination of ambassador a terrorist act.
The incident took place when Bashar Assad’s forces took control over Syrian province Aleppo with military support of Russia and Iran. According to reports, recent developments caused humanitarian crisis in Aleppo. About 12 thousand civilians have been evacuated so far. The buses assigned to evacuate residents are reported to be set on fire.
Moreover, Foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia and Iran Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Sergey Lavrov and Mahammad Javad Zarif, as well as defense ministers of these countries Fikri Işık, Sergey Şoygu and Huseyn Dehgan met together in Moscow on December 20 to discuss situation in Syria, especially in Aleppo.
Notably, meeting of foreign ministers was scheduled to December 27.
Russian foreign ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told that Andrey Karlov was closely engaged in situation in Syria. He was holding contacts with opposition forces recognized by Russia and Iran.
From this point of view, the main question concerning the incident is “Why this terrorist act happened?”.
The former policeman who committed this crime told he did it to retaliate for “innocent people”. He didn’t have any specific target. Supposedly he chose the ambassador as a target to make more noise. From this point of view, as purpose of FETO (Fetullahist Terrorist Organization) is known, it is understandable that this organization is considered among possible suspects of the incident.
Developments after the incident show that the scope of the action expands far beyond Turkish-Russian relations. Some analytics tend to compare the incident with that in November 2015, when Russian jet was downed by Turkish military.
From this point of view, we can consider below objectives of this terrorist act:
-To cause mistrust in US-Turkey relations;
-To stimulate anti-west and anti-Europe propaganda in Turkey;
-To isolate Turkey from processes in Syria;
-To protract settlement of Syrian conflict;
-To push humanitarian crisis in Aleppo to second plan;
-To thwart Turkey’s intervention to regional processes by keeping it busy with internal issues;
-To prevent Turkey’s convergence with Russia and Iran;
-To stimulate government crisis in Turkey and etc.
Without any doubt, Turkey is the main target of this terrorist attack. It seems there are some forces, which try to channel feelings of some groups within the country disliking the government to damage image of the state and dismantle it. In all cases the groups launching terrorist attacks within Turkey are known: PKK, ISIS, FETO and Leninist-Marxist organizations. Their supporters are also known. Probably these and similar groups are anxious about Turkey’s activities in Syria.
After all it is a small world. Supporters of terrorists or those who keep their own terrorist groups are not insured against similar attacks. Let’s not forget a ‘boomerang effect’. Although it is painful, let’s note that yesterday 12 persons were killed and 48 injured as a result of truck ploughing in crowded Christmas market in central Berlin, Germany.
Thus, supporters of terrorists, made them a “death angel”. Earlier or later he knocks every door.