Parents of Turkish killer of Russia’s Ambassador to Ankara arrested

Turkish police officers stand guard outside the Russian consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday (AFP)

Turkish authorities have detained seven people for questioning over the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara, as a team of Russian investigators arrived in the country to aid the investigation, The Guardian reported.

The parents, sister, roommate and three other relatives of the gunman, named as Mevlut Mert Altıntas, 22, were being questioned, Anadolu news agency reported.

Andrei Karlov was shot multiple times by the off-duty riot police officer on Monday during the opening of a photography exhibition at a gallery in the Turkish capital. Altıntas was shot by police at the scene, The Guardian wrote.

Officials from both countries have been quick to stress their desire for cooperation in the aftermath of the attack and insist the killing will not lead to a downward spiral in relations. Instead, both countries emphasised their joint work on Syria and said they were committed to fighting terrorism, according to The Guardian.

Vladimir Putin called Karlov’s murder a “provocation” aimed at undermining improved relations between the two countries, and their efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria. “There can be only one answer to this: stepping up the fight against terrorism, and the bandits will feel this,” said the Russian president, The Guardian added.

“Both sides understand that this low act will not harm our relations, we will do everything to make sure of that,” said the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who is in Moscow for three-way talks on Syria with Iranian and Russian counterparts.

Despite the words of solidarity from officials, Russian citizens were warned against travelling to Turkey after the attack. “I think anyone who plans to visit Turkey should think carefully before doing so, because there are terrorist acts going on almost every day,” said the deputy foreign minister, Oleg Syromolotov, the Guardian concluded.

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