An investigation has been launched into why Turkish police did not capture the Russian ambassador to Turkey’s assassin alive. The Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was killed during the opening of a photo exhibition at a gallery in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday. The assassin, off-duty policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas was shot dead at the scene by police.
Following the incident both Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said that assassination was an act of provocation by those seeking to ruin relations between both countries. Turkey’s Anadolu Agency said on Wednesday that prosecutors had launched an investigation into why Turkish Special Forces, who stormed the exhibition after Karlov’s killing, gunned down Altintas, instead of capturing him alive.
The probe’s initial findings have shown that Altintas had kept firing at the police even after being shot in both legs, while shouting “You cannot capture me alive!” The police’s actions have been deafened by Erdogan. “There is some speculation about why he wasn’t captured alive. Look what happened in Besiktas when they tried to capture an attacker alive,” he said, referring to this month’s bombings outside Istanbul’s Besiktas football stadium. On December 10, 44 people, mostly policemen were killed and over 150 more injured in a twin bomb attack, during the second of whom a bomber detonated his explosive belt as police arrived to surround him.
Meanwhile, Turkey has arrested 11 people over the killing of the Russian ambassador, including Altintas’s mother, father, sister and housemate. Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow did not believe that the gunman acted on his own. “We shouldn’t rush with any theories before the investigators establish who were behind the assassination of our ambassador,” he said.