"Revenge for Syria and Aleppo"
"Don't forget about Syria, don't forget about Aleppo. All those who participate in this tyranny will be held accountable."
"In the name of God, you killed innocent people. We will not permit you to do these things."
"We are the descendants of those who supported the Prophet Muhammad, for jihad. We made an oath to die in martyrdom. It is revenge for Syria and Aleppo. Until they are safe, you will not taste safety."
"Stand back! Stand back! Only death will take me out of here."
Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, Turkish riot squad police officer, assassin
"It all happened very quickly. As the ambassador took to the lectern to speak, the attacker shouted a few things about Aleppo."
"People wanted to get out. The attacker fired in the air a few times. Then, aiming straight for the ambassador, he fired four or five shots. As far as I know the ambassador doesn't go out and about with security protection. So he didn't have any security officers by his side."
Hasim Kilic, correspondent, Hurriyet news
Days of protest in Turkey against support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's atrocities perpetrated against Syrian Sunnis, emphasizing Turks' disgust with the official Russian position that Syrian Sunnis are "terrorists" in which conflict Moscow has assigned its warplanes and troops to aid Assad in his war against his own, prefaced the murder of the 62-year-old Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov.
Ambassador Karlov, it appears, preferred to mingle with the crowd seeing no need through the experience gained in his long career as a Russian diplomat, to employ security for his protection from any potential violence. In any event, it is clearly an accepted convention that the host country is expected to ensure that diplomatic dignitaries on their soil are protected from any harm. And clearly, Turkey failed to protect this Russian diplomat from the possibility of harm, at a time of high public passion in protest.
Russia has been complicit for over a year in helping Bashar al-Assad of Syria viciously attack his civilian Syrian population with deadly assaults using chemical gas, barrel bombs and starvation sieges against defenceless civilians. Russian air bombing appears to have perfected explosion techniques aimed at destroying Syrian hospital and medical clinics, further endearing them to Turks who may view the atrocities against fellow Sunnis an undesirable trait in a non-Muslim military associated with a Shiite government.
The attack took place at an art gallery, launching an exhibition of photography featuring Turkish views of Russia. And while the artistic component of the exhibits drew the attention of an invited gathering of roughly 100 guests, the current situation of Russian involvement in the slaughter of Syrian men, women and children represents a deeply antagonistic component that the murder of the Russian ambassador exemplifies. The assassin was shot to death by Turkish security responders, leading the government of Turkey to turn its attention to the likelhod of more like Mr. Altintas active in the police special forces.
Despite that Turkish President Erdogan has decimated the public service, the news media, the police and the military by charging people with treason and imprisoning them by the tens of thousands, in the wake of the July coup attempt, clearly many more Turks are disinterested in giving ongoing full support to the Justice and Development Party and its Islamist agenda targeting another Islamist Turkish group whose adherents the AKP has charged, alongside the PKK, with treason. Mr. Erdogan's wrathful anguish over his enemies, from Kurds to Gulenists to Islamic State has led him to value Russia's re-engagement with Turkey despite their conflicted views on Syria.
Turkish authorities have now taken the young assassin's family into police custody along with suspected others, pressed by Russian authorities to find the culprits who might have been involved and hold them to account. Turkey has had little option but to agree to Russia's demand that Russian investigators take charge of the search and the investigation ensuing from this unfortunate affair. After all, it was Turkish officialdom that failed in the cardinal obligation to ensure that a foreign diplomat on their soil was fully protected.
Despite Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan both expressing solidarity in the face of the unfortunate murder of a diplomat where Erdogan called it "a tragic day in the history of our country and Russian diplomacy", Turkey will now more than ever, be under the demanding thumb of Moscow to make good on its desire to have continued Russian support, after the estrangement that had succeeded in isolating Turkey and harming its economy and tourism, a situation that Russia knows first-hand from the sanctions imposed on it by the EU and US.
Ankara's Mayor Melih Gokcek, spouted the official line on the "heinous" attack, tweeting speculatively on the likelihood that the rogue policeman likely was a Fethullah Gulen follower, even as a Gulen adviser himself condemned the killing as a "heinous act of terror", adding that the speciously righteous claim that Gulen was involved was "laughable".
"This will only bring Russia and Turkey closer together. These events have shown that we have a common enemy -- terrorism -- and only by joining forces can we deal with this enemy" stated Elena Suponina, an analyst at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, an adviser to the Kremlin. Of course, Russia and Turkey know a great deal about terrorism. Theirs is a state-instituted terrorism exercised against those whom they consider their enemies.