(GPA) Ankara – The Russian ambassador to Turkey was killed this morning in an Ankara museum after a gunman opened fire on several people.
The ambassador Andrey Karlov was shot amongst a crowd of people just as he was preparing to deliver a talk on “Russia in the Eyes of Turks.” The attacker was photographed next to the ambassador’s body in a photo that is now circulating on social media.
— BirGün Gazetesi (@BirGun_Gazetesi) December 19, 2016
The attacker didn’t look out of place, wearing a suit and tie but shouted “Allahu Akbar” followed by allegedly saying something in Russian. CNN has aired footage of the assassination from their affiliate in Turkey. CNBC has reported that the attacker was allegedly an off-duty Turkish police officer who works in the capitol.
The attacker fired several shots in the air according to a reporter at Hurriyet Daily News before targeting Karlov and injuring three others. According to sources in the Turkish security services and Turkish military, the attacker has been killed by Turkish special forces.
A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova told reporters in a statement after the attack that Russia considers the death of Karlov “an act of terror.”
This comes at a bad time for Turkey as talks are commencing with Russia and Iran concerning the situation in Syria. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was set to head to Moscow tomorrow to build on the growing relationship between Ankara and Moscow.
Turkey’s shift away from the EU, US and NATO has been based on the assumption that they could seek security and economic agreements with Russia. The handling of this attack has potential to determine major geopolitical shifts in the coming future.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.