Ankara assassination tests Turkey-Russia ties.
Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson has described the murder of Russia’s ambassador in Turkey as a serious blow to Turkey, according to Russian news media.
Dmitry Peskov, the Russian president’s spokesperson, has been further quoted as saying that Turkish authorities should not rush with any theories on who is behind the assassination of Andrey Karlov before the investigation produces results.
THIS IS CERTAINLY A BLOW TO THE COUNTRY’S PRESTIGE
“This is certainly a blow to the country’s prestige,” Peskov was quoted as saying on Wednesday by the RIA news agency.
Karlov was killed on Monday evening at a photograph exhibition in Ankara by Mevlut Mert Altintas of the Turkish capital’s riot-police squad. He was then killed in a police operation.
PESKOV SAID RUSSIA DID NOT BELIEVE ALTINAS ACTED ALONE
Peskov said Russia did not believe Altintas acted alone, but refused to explain the reasons for the suspicion.
“We should not rush with any theories before the investigators establish who were behind the assassination of our ambassador,” he said.
Officials from both Russia and Turkey had said after the murder that they would work for mutual relations not to be affected.
Russia has flown a team of 18 investigators and foreign ministry officials to Turkey to take part in the inquiry. Karlov’s body and his family have been returned to Russia.
A senior Turkish government official told Al Jazeera on Monday that Turkey was focusing on possible links to what officials call the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO).
Turkey is pressing the US to extradite Gulen to Turkey to stand trial for his alleged role in the coup attempt.
During the phone call, Kerry raised concerns about “some of the rhetoric coming out of Turkey with respect to American involvement or support, tacit or otherwise, for this unspeakable assassination”, John Kirby, Kerry’s spokesperson, said.
“It is a ludicrous claim, absolutely false,” Kirby said.