An 18-member Russian delegation composed of security officials, prosecutors and autopsy experts arrived in Ankara on Dec. 20 to probe the killing of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov and repatriate his body to Moscow.
THE PLANE WAS SET TO EXPECTED TO DEPART FROM ANKARA
The plane was set to expected to depart from Ankara Esenboğa Airport at 4 p.m. local time after the accomplishment of procedures by Turkish and Russian authorities.
A ceremony is planned to take place at the airport to bid farewell to Karlov with participation of Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş.
A group of 18 Russian Investigative Committee, Foreign Ministry and other special department members are included in the delegation to Turkey, the Kremlin said on Dec. 20.
THE GROUP WILL OPERATE IN TURKEY AS PART OF AN INVESTIGATION
“The group will operate in Turkey as part of an investigation of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov. This agreement has been reached during an earlier telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Erdoğan also confirmed in a statement that this was requested by Putin and welcomed by Turkey.
Immediately after the tragic incident, Turkish President Erdoğan phoned Russian President Putin to offer condolences on behalf of the Turkish people and to propose sending Karlov’s body back on a Turkish plane.
PUTIN DECLINED THE OFFER, RUSSIA WILL SEND ITS OWN TEAM
Putin declined the offer, saying Russia will send its own team “to investigate the real motivation” behind the killing of the ambassador and to take his body to Russia.
The killing is “being examined meticulously,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said.
“The incident is being examined meticulously. The ones behind the murder and their connections are being focused on,” Kurtulmuş said, characterizing the killing as an “open provocation.”