ANKARA, January 31. /TASS/. A delegation of Turkish parliamentarians visited the Russian Embassy in Ankara on Wednesday to lay a wreath at the bust of late Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was shot dead in in Turkey’s capital in 2016, after which the lawmakers and diplomats observed a minute of silence.
Head of the Turkish parliament’s Committee for International Affairs, Volkan Bozkir, led Ankara’s delegation. The visit came ahead of Diplomats’ Day marked in Russia on February 10.
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Yerkhov thanked the legislators "for efforts taken to memorialize Andrei Gennadyevich (patronymic name)." "Streets are named after him, in particular the street on which the Russian Embassy is located, and there are also projects to name streets in other Turkish cities after Karlov," the diplomat said.
"Sports events are held in his honor. We are very grateful to the Turkish authorities and the Turkish people for all these goodwill gestures," the envoy stressed.
Bozkir vowed, "Andrei Karlov will be always remembered by the Turkish people." "Karlov’s work was aimed at bolstering relations between Turkey and Russia. We will continue his endeavors towards strengthening our relations," he added.
Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was gunned down in December 2016 while he was delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition in Ankara. The attacker, police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas, was killed. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Karlov’s murder was a terrorist attack. Karlov was awarded the honorary title of Hero of Russia posthumously.
In December 2017, the Daily Sabah reported citing the official statement of Turkish prosecutors that the killer had links to Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim preacher wanted by Ankara. Gulen was linked to the assassin and all information had been sent to the killer’s telephone, the prosecutor’s office said.
Turkey holds Gulen, who has resided in the United States since 1999, and his organization FETO responsible for masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt against President Erdogan’s government.