Russian Ambassador Assassination! 3 Need To Know Facts!

Written by Matt Wende On December 19th, 2016, the Russia's ambassador to Turkey was assassinated, sparking high tensions and serious questions involving what this means for the future of of relationship between the two countries, and the civil war in Syria. WatchMojo presents 3 facts you need to know about the assassination that occurred in Ankara. How will President Vladimir Putin respond? What is the next step for Turkey? What motivated the assassination? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo:

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On December 19th, 2016, the world was shocked by the assassination of a beloved Russian diplomat in Turkey’s capital. With the Syrian civil war at a tipping point, previous tensions between the two countries and several factors still unknown, many are anxious to see just what comes next.

Welcome to WatchMojo News, the series from where we look at news stories that should be your radar. In this instalment, we’re looking at 3 things you should know about the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey.

#3: How Did the Assassination Take Place?

During a photo exhibit opening at a gallery in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, off-duty police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas shot and killed Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey. Reporters there to cover the museum’s event, including photographer Burhan Ozbilici of the Associated Press, managed to capture the assassination on video and in photographs. After the killing, the assassin shouted “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God is Great”, and continued with “Do not forget Aleppo. Do not forget Syria.” The gunman was killed in an ensuing confrontation with police. The Russian foreign ministry has labelled the event a terrorist attack.

#2: What Is Turkey's Relationship with Russia and the Region?

In the past weeks, Turkey has seen many protests regarding Russia’s supporting of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war. The assassination also comes just days before delegates of Turkey, Iran and Russia were scheduled to meet regarding the siege of Aleppo. In 2015, tensions between Turkey and Russia came to an all time high after Turkey shot down a Russian plane flying in Turkish airspace. Since then, the two have become more friendly following the attempted Turkish coup in 2016 and pseudo allies in the fight against the Islamic State. Turkey has long been seen as a gateway between Europe and the Middle East, and has been playing an instrumental role in fighting ISIS.

#1: How Will Russia Respond?

Many have already drawn comparisons to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria. Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist, an event which would eventually lead to the outbreak of World War I. With international tensions high throughout the Middle East and in Turkey, many are anxious to see just how Russia will react. Uncertainty stems from the public not knowing what motivated this assassination.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been in contact since the attack. In a statement made by President Putin, he stated that the murder was an attempt to undermine both Russian and Turkish relations, and the peace process in Syria. He went on to state that Russia will be responding to terror with strength, and that it was necessary to find out just who orchestrated the killing. With the United States involved in conflicts since 2001 AND Russian conflicts stemming back to 1990s, this event breathes further anxiety into what the future may hold.

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