Life imprisonment for five civilians for the murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey

  • Andrei Karlov, ambassador of Russia on Turkey, was shot dead on December 19, 2016 in the Turkish capital, at the opening of an art exhibition

  • According to Turkish justice, the convicted, in addition to the perpetrator of the shots, were part of the brotherhood of Fethullah Gülen, accused of terrorist for Ankara

Five civilians were sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday in connection with the December 2016 murder of Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov. According to the Turkish justice, those sentenced aided the material perpetrator of the murder, Mevlut Mert Altintas, to infiltrate the Turkish police and secret services and then kill the Russian diplomat.

Altintas, who shot Karlov in the back as he inaugurated a art exhibition in Ankara, died in the same action, after being killed by the police. At first, the old-fashioned event was blamed Jabhat al Nusra, organization that is now called Hayat Tahrir al Sham and which was, in 2016, the subsidiary of Al Qaeda In Syria. At that time, in 2016, tensions in Syrian territory were high over the siege of Aleppo and the involvement of the russian aviation on discriminated bombings against civilians.

The Turkish court, however, has not targeted Al Qaeda as the organization behind Karlov’s assassination, but rather the brotherhood of the Turkish Islamist cleric Fethullah Gülen, considered as the leader of a criminal and terrorist group by Turkey. Ankara also names him as the head of the coup attempt in July 2016 – just five months before the assassination of the Russian ambassador. In the attempt 251 civilians died at the hands of the rebel military.

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“Destroy relationships”

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According to the Turkish court, Gülen himself, living in exile in USA since the 1990s, he was the one who gave the green light to the murder of Karlov. His intention, says the Turkish justice, was to muddy the relations between the Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin Y Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The sole intention of the attack was to destroy relations between Turkey and Russia. In addition, they also sought to boost the morale of the members of Fetö [el nombre que recibe el grupo de Gülen en Turquía], Y Preparing the terrain for the coup ”, says the Turkish court, which assures that the murder had to occur before the attempt, but that it had to be postponed.

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