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Newsdeck

Killer of Russia envoy ‘used police ID’ to enter Ankara show

The Turkish policeman who assassinated Russian ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov at an exhibition centre used his police ID to enter the show while armed, the local municipality said.

Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, did not go through the metal detector security check when he entered the exhibition in central Ankara and was warned by a security officer, said the Cankaya municipality in Ankara where the exhibition centre is located.

But after showing his police ID, he was allowed to proceed, it said. 

It said that the Contemporary Arts Centre (CSM) which is hosting the exhibition is frequently used by embassies and has X-ray machines and security cameras and has five security staff on duty. 

The Hurriyet daily added that Altintas, who had worked for Ankara’s anti-riot police for the last two and a half years, had stayed at a nearby hotel to prepare for the attack.

It said Altintas, who was off duty for the day, had put on a suit and tie and shaved at the hotel before heading to the exhibition centre.

He was later killed by police after a shootout that lasted over 15 minutes.

Altintas was born in the town of Soke in Aydin province in western Turkey and attended a special school for training future policemen.

The mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, known for his outspoken comments, speculated on his official Twitter account that the attacker may be linked to the group of Fethullah Gulen blamed for the July 15 coup aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

His suggestion has yet to be echoed by other officials but was repeated in the pro-government press, which claimed what Ankara terms the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO) was behind the attack.

“An attack on friendship by treacherous FETO,” said Sabah. “A bullet from FETO,” added the Star daily.

The mainstream Hurriyet said that authorities were investigating the assassin’s possible links to the Gulen movement. 

They were particularly focusing on friends Altintas may have had at the police academy, it added. Six people have been detained for questioning, including his mother, father and sister.

Gulen denies having any link to the failed coup bid and supporters also issued a statement rejecting any connection to the attack on the Russian ambassador. 

sjw/wdb

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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