Police ID allowed Russian envoy’s killer to enter Ankara hall

Police ID allowed Russian envoy’s killer to enter Ankara hall
Marina Davydova Karlova, widow of slain Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov, stands during a ceremonial farewell on the tarmac of Ankara’s Esenboga Airport before the coffin is transported for Moscow. (AFP)
Updated 21 December 2016

Police ID allowed Russian envoy’s killer to enter Ankara hall

Police ID allowed Russian envoy’s killer to enter Ankara hall

ANKARA: The Turkish policeman who assassinated Russian ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov at an exhibition center used his police ID to enter the show while armed, the local municipality said.
Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, did not go through the metal detector security check when he entered the exhibition in central Ankara and was warned by a security officer, said the Cankaya municipality in Ankara where the exhibition center is located.
But after showing his police ID, he was allowed to proceed, it said.
It said that the Contemporary Arts Center (CSM) which is hosting the exhibition is frequently used by embassies and has X-ray machines and security cameras and has five security staff on duty.
The Hurriyet daily added that Altintas, who had worked for Ankara’s anti-riot police for the last two and a half years, had stayed at a nearby hotel to prepare for the attack.
It said Altintas, who was off duty for the day, had put on a suit and tie and shaved at the hotel before heading to the exhibition center.
He was later killed by police after a shootout that lasted over 15 minutes. Altintas was born in the town of Soke in Aydin province in western Turkey and attended a special school for training future policemen.
The mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, known for his outspoken comments, speculated on his official Twitter account that the attacker may be linked to the group of Fethullah Gulen blamed for the July 15 coup aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
His suggestion has yet to be echoed by other officials but was repeated in the pro-government press, which claimed what Ankara terms the Fethullah Terror Organization (FETO) was behind the attack.
Gulen denies having any link to the failed coup bid and supporters also issued a statement rejecting any connection to the attack on the Russian ambassador.
The leaders of Turkey and Russia say the killing of the Russian ambassador in Turkey has been intended to ruin Russia-Turkey ties.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in televised remarks during a meeting with senior officials, said that the killing of Ambassador Andrei Karlov was a “provocation aimed at derailing Russia-Turkey ties and the peace process in Syria.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a video message being shown on several Turkish TV channels, says that “this is a provocation to damage the normalization process of Turkish-Russian relations. But both the Russian and Turkish administrations have the determination not to fall for this provocation.”