‘Russian envoy assassinated to ruin bilateral ties’

MALATYA, Turkey

The widow of a slain Russian ambassador killed in Turkey in 2016 said she did not know who killed her husband but the aim was “to ruin bilateral relations of Russia and Turkey”.

On Dec. 19, 2016, Andrei Karlov was killed at an Ankara art gallery opening by Mevlut Mert Altintas, an off-duty police officer linked to the FETO, the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey. During a standoff, Altintas was shot dead by police.

Marina Karlova, head of the Andrei Karlov foundation, in her speech about the Turkish-Russian relations on the 21st century said the foundation was trying to improve the cooperation between the two countries.

Karlova said they were working on educational and cultural cooperation to support Russian students who were interested studying in Turkey’s higher education institutions.

Regarding the murder of her husband, Karlova said she did not know who killed her husband, but it was an attempt by those who want to destroy the Turkish-Russian bilateral ties.

She said a day after the murder there was a meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries, starting with the Astana process and that only the developments of Turkish and Russian relations can ease her pain.

“Turkey’s Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, External Economic Business Council, Exporters Assembly, Turkish Industry and Business Association and Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association will uplift the relations.

“They are aware that they are in the same boat, hand in hand to develop a road map with a strategy,” Karlova said.

It also quoted a senior security official saying that there were very strong signs the gunman belonged to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), a network led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen.

FETO and its leader are accused by the Turkish government of being behind the bloody July 15 defeated coup attempt and a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through infiltrating Turkish institutions, including the military, police, and judiciary.

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