Russian ambassador to Turkey flown home after airport ceremony

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By Robert Hackwill
Russian ambassador to Turkey flown home after airport ceremony

Russia’s late ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, left the home he enjoyed so much prematurely, and in a coffin, not the ending to his posting he would have wished.

But he was honoured in his death and the manner of his passing may yet bring neighbours with troubled relations closer together. The Turks have promised their full co-operation with the Russians to find out the whole story behind the murder.

Turkey’s foreign minister joined Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in laying flowers in the diplomat’s memory. Afterwards both men made strong pledges that the incident would not wreck relations.

“As our presidents have agreed yesterday this tragedy forces all of us to fight terrorism even more decisively and makes our meeting today even more relevant,” said Lavrov.

From Karlov’s widow there were just tears.

“In Russia as well as in Turkey it is well understood that the main goal of the attackers was to damage Russia-Turkey relations and the success we have reached in the recent times,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Karlov’s assassin shouted out vaguely Islamist slogans in what seemed like a protest over Aleppo but links to ISIL and other Islamist extremists will be top of investigators’ lists.