Turkey holds ceremony for assassinated Russian envoy

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Ankara, Dec 21 (IANS) Turkey held a state ceremony at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport ahead of the departure of body of assassinated Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was shot dead on Monday.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu as well as a number of Russian and Turkish officials, foreign diplomats, and political figures attended the ceremony on Tuesday.

“Karlov became an immortal symbol of Turkey-Russia friendship,” the Turkish deputy prime minister said in the speech, Xinhua reported citing state-run Anadolu Agency.

He said that assassination of Moscow’s ambassador “was another provocation of those who target Turkey-Russia friendship.”

“Our determination is as great as our pain; Turkey-Russia relations will remain as strong as ever,” Turkes vowed.

The Russian ambassador’s spouse and family attended the ceremony where farewell speeches and prayers were held.

Karlov’s body was placed on board an special aircraft for repatriation to Russia after the ceremony.

On Monday, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was delivering a speech at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in Ankara’s central Cankaya district when an off-duty Turkish police officer opened fire, critically wounding him.

Karlov was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An 18-member Russian delegation composed of security officials, prosecutors and experts arrived in Ankara on Tuesday to probe the killing.

Turkish police arrested six people over Russian envoy’s murder so far.

–IANS

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