Sharp-suited killer of Russian ambassador ‘used police ID’ to enter Ankara show
The Turkish policeman who assassinated Russian ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov at an Ankara exhibition centre used his police ID to enter the show while armed, reports said on Tuesday.
Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, set off the metal detector security check when he entered the exhibition in central Ankara as he was carrying a gun, the pro-government Sabah daily said.
But after showing his police ID, he was waved through and allowed to proceed.
The Hurriyet daily added that Altintas, who had worked for Ankara’s anti-riot police for the last two and a half years, had stayed at a nearby hotel to prepare for the attack.
It said Altintas, who was off duty at the time, had put on a suit and tie and shaved at the hotel before heading to the exhibition centre.
He was later killed by police after a shootout that lasted over 15 minutes.
Altintas was born in the town of Soke in Aydin province in western Turkey and attended a special school for training future policemen.
The mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, known for his outspoken comments, speculated on his official Twitter account that the attacker may be linked to the group of Fethullah Gulen blamed for the July 15 coup aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
His suggestion has yet to be echoed by other officials but was repeated in the pro-government press, which claimed what Ankara terms the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO) was behind the attack.
“An attack on friendship by treacherous FETO,” said Sabah. “A bullet from FETO,” added the Star daily.
The mainstream Hurriyet said that authorities were investigating the assassin’s possible links to the Gulen movement.
They were particularly focusing on friends Altintas may have had at the police academy, it added.
Gulen denies having any link to the failed coup bid and supporters also issued a statement rejecting any connection to the attack on the Russian ambassador.