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Mevlut Mert Altintas: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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This picture taken on December 19, 2016 shows Andrey Karlov, left, the Russian ambassador to Ankara, lying on the floor after being shot by a gunman, right, during an attack during a public event in Ankara. (Getty)

The attacker who assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey in Ankara has been identified by the country’s interior minister as a police officer, the Associated Press reports.

The officer, Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, shot and killed 62-year-old Ambassador Andrey Karlov while he was giving a speech Monday night at an art gallery opening, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters.

Altintas was later “neutralized,” authorities said.

Altintas made references to the situation in Aleppo, Syria, after the shooting, CNN reports.

While Altintas was not on duty, he used his police identification badge to enter the gallery with a gun, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

A witness told Voice of America that metal detectors were used at the entrance to the gallery, but there was no increased security because of the ambassador’s presence.

Russian authorities have called the shooting an act of terrorism. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have spoken, and Putin suggested a joint commission to investigate the assassination, a proposal Erdogan accepted, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

“This attack is a provocation aimed at disrupting our relations. I condemn it vehemently,” Erdogan said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Video Shows Him Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ & About Aleppo After the Shooting

Video of the shooting, which you can watch above, shows the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, giving his speech in the capital city of Ankara when gunfire erupts. Karlov reacts to being shot and then falls to the ground. The camera then switches to the accused attacker, Mert Altintas, who can be seen firing into the air and then yelling.

According to CNN, the gunman screamed in Arabic, “Allahu akbar (God is great),” before saying in Turkish, “Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria! Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria!”

Altintas allowed the others in attendance at the gallery to leave, saying he was not trying to harm them, and was there to die, witnesses said.

“Only death will remove me from here. Everyone who has taken part in this oppression will one by one pay for it,” he said, according to CNN.

Hurriyet Daily News reporter Hasim Kilic, who was at the gallery, told AFP what he saw:

It happened during the opening of an exhibition. When the ambassador was delivering a speech, a tall man wearing a suit, fired into the air first and then took aim at the ambassador. He said something about Aleppo and ‘revenge’. He ordered the civilians to leave the room. When people were fleeing, he fired again.

Russian officials confirmed that Karlov was killed in the attack.

“We regard this as a terrorist act,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Reuters. “Terrorism will not win and we will fight against it decisively.”

The shooting occurred at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in Ankara’s central Cankaya district, according to Anadolu, the Turkish state-run media agency.

Karlov was speaking at the opening of a photo exhibit called “Russia as seen by Turks.”

Altintas has not been tied to any larger terror organizations, but the assassination has been “celebrated” on social media by accounts affiliated with both ISIS and al-Qaeda.

The shooting also came just hours before an apparent terror attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany. At least 9 people were killed and as many as 50 wounded when a truck plowed into the crowd at the market, police say.

ISIS, which has in the past called for attacks using trucks similar to one in Nice, France, that killed 84 people, has not claimed responsibility for the Berlin attack.

WATCH: Video Shows Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey

A video shows the shooting of Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara. The gunman shouted about Aleppo after opening fire.

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Read more about Mevlut Mert Altintas in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:

VER: ISIS Celebra el Asesinato del Embajador de Rusia en Turquía Andrei Karlov

Mevlut Mert Altintas asesinó al Embajador de Rusia en Turquía Andrei Karlov. ISIS ha reclamado la responsabilidad del ataque y…

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2. He Was Killed During a Gunfight With Security Forces

Mert Altintas was later killed during a gunfight with security forces, authorities told Anadolu, the Turkish state-run media agency. The operation to stop Altintas was led by special forces, Anadolu reports. He was shot about 15 minutes after the initial attack.

A graphic photo, which you can see above, shows his body after he was killed at the Ankara art gallery.

Altintas was off duty at the time of the attack, Reuters reports.

“We are currently in contact with Turkish authorities, who are assuring us that a thorough, comprehensive investigation will be conducted,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in remarks broadcast on Russian television, according to CNN. “Murderers will be punished. Terrorism won’t sustain. We’ll fight it.”

PHOTOS: Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov Assassinated in Turkey [GRAPHIC]

See photos of the assassination and shooting of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov in Ankara, Turkey.

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3. He Became a Police Officer in 2014 & Was Serving as a Member of a Special Operations Force

Altintas became a police officer in 2014, according to a police yearbook photo posted on Twitter by Turkish media.

He was a member of the Ankara police special operations force, according to local media.

Altintas’ mother and sister have been taken into custody, Yeni Şafak journalist Burak Dogan said on Twitter. His roommate has also been detained, the news organization reports.

Police were searching the gunman’s home Monday night.

He was born in Soke in Turkey’s Aydin province.

ISIS ‘Celebrates’ Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov

Islamic State terrorist channels have begun to celebrate the assassination of Andrei Karlov, who was shot and killed in Ankara by police officer Mert Altintas. Altintas was filmed giving the "tahwid," or ISIS' index finger signal, while shouting "Allahu Akbar."

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4. The Attack Was Intended to Disrupt Relations Between Russia & Turkey, Ankara’s Mayor Says

Ankara’s mayor, Melih Gokcek, said the attack was aimed at disrupting relations between Russia and Turkey, Reuters reports.

The shooting comes as diplomats from Turkey, Russia and Iran plan to meet to discuss the situation in Aleppo, Syria. The meeting is still planned to go on.

Russia is allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is an opponent of Assad and has backed rebel forces, according to Reuters. Russian forces backed Assad in Aleppo, including through air strikes.

But, according to CNN, relations between Turkey and Russia had improved recently, including as they worked together in the cease fire and evacuations of Aleppo’s citizens.

The two countries had been at a low point after a Russian jet was shot down by Turkish forces near the Syrian border in November 2015. According to CNN, Russia placed several sanctions on Turkey after the jet incident, in which a pilot was killed, including banning Russian tourists from traveling to Turkey.

But in June, Erdogan wrote a letter of “regret” to the family of the pilot, CNN reports. Russian President Vladimir Putin was then among the first world leaders to call Erdogan and offer his support after Erdogan faced down an attempted military coup in July.

The two leaders spoke several times on the phone recently while working on a deal to evacuate citizens from Aleppo, according to CNN.

Erdogan and Putin have spoken after the assassination of Karlov, CNN reports.

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There were reports of an Aleppo genocide as a ceasefire was reportedly reached following Syrian government forces taking control. Reports say women and children were murdered in a mass execution.

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WATCH: Aftermath of Fatal Truck Attack in Berlin

The incident is eerily similar to the July 2016 truck attack in Nice that claimed the lives of 86 people.

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5. Karlov Became the Russian Ambassador to Turkey in 2013 & Was a Married Father

andrey karlov shooting, russian ambassador to turkey

Andrey Karlov. (Embassy of the Russian Federation in Turkey)

Karlov has been the Russian Federation’s Ambassador to Turkey since July 2013, according to the embassy’s website.

He was a lifelong diplomat, starting his career in 1976 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1979 to 1984, and then again from 1986 to 1997, he was assigned to his country’s embassy in South Korea.

He was Russia’s ambassador to South Korea from 2001 to 2006, before returning home to serve as the deputy director general for consular affairs from 2007 to 2013.

Andrey Karlov, whose name is also at times spelled Andrei Karlov, was married and has a son, according to the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Turkey’s website.

He was born in 1954 in Moscow, and graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1976.

Andrey Karlov, Russian Ambassador to Turkey: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was shot during an attack at an art gallery opening in Anakra.

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You can now view this content in Spanish on our sister site, AhoraMismo.com:

Mevlut Mert Altintas: 5 datos importantes que tienes que saber

Mert Altintas, de 22 años, disparó y mató a Andrei Karlov mientras estaba dando un discurso el lunes por la…

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Andrey Karlov: 5 datos importantes que tienes que saber

Andrey Karlov es el embajador de Rusia en Turquía que fue asesinado mientras daba un discurso en la apertura de…

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26 comments

    • Yes, in Turkish parlance, as in the azan crooned suavely from minarets when I was there, they pronounced it, “Allahu ekber!”
      Turkish cops are notoriously compromised throughout history, typically by Dervish orders. Maybe that is all out the wondow now in the age of ‘self-radicalizing” Islam.
      The killer framed this atrocity in religious terms; we would be stupid not to take his word for it: this is Islamic jihad.

      • You make zero sense. Allah o Akbar means God is great. No different than the word Jesus the Lord. KKK member all wear a cross, so by that token Christians are murderous hate criminals. Erdogan could have orchestrated this, and he was a sacrificial lamb to blame Golan. Who knows? Turkish cops may be compromised, but he was also a member of Erdogans AK Party, which is far more compromised and Erdogan is a Wahabi!!!! and this guy was pro the rebels in Syria who are also fundamentalist Wahabis. This guys family members getting arrested points to the attempt at silencing them via intimidation or jailing. In what reasonable place in the world, would they arrest the mother, father or sister of a terrorist? I have no idea what you are saying but whatever it is that you have uttered here reeks of presumption and prejudice.

        • No. There is no concept of Jihad in Christianity. “Turn the other cheek”. “Love your enemies”. So the very act of violence proves that someone is not a Christian. There are no more God-directed holy wars. Those ended in Old Testament times.

        • Haleh Niazmand, that’s the tragedy of the world “fearing” anything linked to Islam. There is an ASSUMPTION that all Muslims are on a rampage.
          It is so tragic!

      • Actually only a moron would take his words as the whole truth. Lets practice logic and skepticism with a few more facts based in “common sense”:

        – any rational person knows and understands that the war on terror is and has been a cover up for economical supremacy related to the oil business, and cultural influence in middle east, so, most “players” arent terrorists but economical powers pulling the strings using mercenaries. most of the so called terrorist in middle east are in fact mercenaries in a proxy war.

        – to become part of the special forces and be able to be a security guard of a vip, in any country, is quite hard and there are always extensive background checks to prevent a psycho or someone emotionally unstable to become a risk; background checks also cover religious and other sensitive information related to family and friends for those kind of jobs. everything is very carefully analyzed, and more so in aread close to war-zones. In short, ir far more likely that either the government turned a blind eye about this guy to use him, or he was manipulated somehow rather than be an actual fanatic.

        so taking all this into account, the “crazy terrorist cop” story smells like more of the regular bs. There are far too many possibilities: he could have been coerced to act that way by his own government, russia, the states or another party, or group pretending to push russia and or the states. also things like brainwash arent completely off the table: read mkultra, human experimentation in world war 2, human experimentation in psychiatric history, operation paperclip; all this is public knowledge. most of the craziest tv stories are based from real life stories. Buying what the media tells you to believe is what is truly stupid: unless you have privileged info, you cant never know enough about this issues. Smart people speculate, but dont affirm: try to think more objectively by learning how much you ignore.

  1. This doesnt have any relation to what Islam has taught me. This doesnt have any relation or synergy or anything that is related to ISLAM. Read the book of Al-quran than tell me your 2cents. This is just some idiot, yelling ‘ allahuakbar ‘ for another intention. Killings are prohibited in islam !

    • “While there are moderate Muslims, there is no moderate Islam.
      We must also liberate ourselves from the Europhiles in Brussels who wipe the floor with our identity, our sovereignty and our prosperity. We are no longer in control of our own borders, our own money, our own democracy. Everything belonging to our culture is being taken away from us ”
      geert wilders, dutch

      “If the elites listened, they would understand why French young people like me are joining our ranks.
      You messed everything up, they gave you a treasure — France — and a diamond — its people. You have ruined the one and abandoned the other.”
      – Marion Marechal-Le Pen

      • So, two individual quotes should be taken as universals? Thats fallacious thinking right there. Religions do have their negative side, but it would be absurd to discard that the reason many people follow them is that they are full of contradictions and everyone interprets them the way is more convenient to them: thats how they work.

  2. I bet erdogan is behind this to bring russia closer to his side also arresting his family and trying to silence them its not accidental that the killer was shot dead if he was a jihadist he whould kill as many as he could and whould not ask them to leave the room

  3. IMHO, there is a possibility “one of many” that the shooter is affiliated with the Turkish Grey Wolves. This sounds like something one of them young, Turkish Nationalist, Sunni Grey Wolves pups would do. One of their favorite tactics/techniques is assassination and they hate the Russians/commies. The young guy that shot and wounded Pope John Paul II (assassination attempt) was also a young pup, 23 years old at the time and a member of the Turkish Grey Wolves. Also, more recently, the commander of the Turkmen rebels that killed the Russian pilot back in November of 2015 is from Turkey and a member of the Grey Wolves.

  4. So the meme I been seeing these past days is from a real life incident. Up until now I thought it was about a new film that sucked badly :/