A team of Russian investigators has arrived in Turkey in the aftermath of the murder of Ambassador Andrei Karlov.
Top security was enforced around the Russian embassy for their arrival, and the city of Ankara is on high alert following the killing. Several embassies have closed for the day.
There has been much speculation as to the motives of police officer of two and a half years Mevlut Mert Altintas, who fired eight bullets into the ambassador before being shot dead by police. As a relatively new recruit he would have been subject to the heavy AKP vetting all security personnel have been subject to in recent years.
BREAKING: The assailant is identified as Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş who is a police officer from Ankara. pic.twitter.com/UeIrgCMs57— Turkey Untold (@TurkeyUntold) 19 décembre 2016
Lax security at the art gallery venue may also be a factor.
JZarif</a> laid flowers in memory of Russian Ambassador to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Turkey?src=hash">#Turkey</a> Andrey <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Karlov?src=hash">#Karlov</a> killed yesterday in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ankara?src=hash">#Ankara</a> <a href="https://t.co/NKaF9oGl6B">pic.twitter.com/NKaF9oGl6B</a></p>— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (mfa_russia) December 20, 2016
Turkish police have now arrested seven people, mainly members of Altintas’s family including his parents and sister, in connection with the murder.
One senior official said there were “strong signs” the attacker had been a member of the network allegedly run by US Turkish exile Fethullah Gulen, accused of planning the abortive July coup.