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Putin appoints new ambassador to Turkey

June 19, 2017, 11:50 UTC+3

Russia’s previous ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was gunned down on December 19, 2016

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Alexander Yerkhov

Alexander Yerkhov

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed a new ambassador to Turkey.

"Alexander Yerkhov shall be appointed Russia’s new ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Turkish Republic," says a presidential decree published on the official legal information portal.

Until just recently Yerkhov led the Foreign Ministry’s crisis situation management center.

Russia’s previous ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was gunned down on December 19, 2016 as he opened a photo exhibition in Ankara. The terrorist fired several shots in the Russian diplomat’s back. Karlov was posthumously awarded the title of the Hero of Russia for bravery and courage displayed in the capacity of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey and for his great contribution to implementing Russia’s foreign policy.

Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over an act of international terrorism. The Turkish authorities are pushing ahead with their own investigation. The Turkish police at the beginning of 2017 detained several suspected accomplices and a Russian woman who might have had connections with the killer. In June it became clear that Karlov was killed on orders from supporters of the organization run by Islamist preacher Fethullah Gulen, FETO. According to the Ankara prosecutor’s office, the killer, Mevlut Mert Altintas, had maintained contact with five FETO members. Also, investigators have found out that Altintas met with a FETO member in a five-star hotel in Cairo, where he received instructions as to how kill the Russian ambassador.

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