Ceremony held for assassinated Russian diplomat at Ankara airport
AA photoA ceremony was held on Dec. 20 at Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport ahead of the departure of the body of assassinated Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was shot dead by a Turkish police officer during the opening of an exhibition on Dec. 19.
Karlov’s body was sent to Russia with a special plane sent by the Russian Federation with a ceremony attended by a number of state officials, foreign diplomats, and political figures.
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yıldız gave a speech at the ceremony, praising Karlov’s contribution to the ties between Ankara and Moscow.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş were also present at the ceremony, representing the Turkish government.
In a speech, Türkeş expressed thanks for Karlov’s service, saying Turkey and Russia had overcome a tough period in relations and the attack was a “provocation” staged by forces attempting to hamper relations between the two countries.
“Those who carried out and orchestrated this attack did not kill Karlov. On the contrary they wrote him into the history books. Ambassador Andrey Karlov is now an immortal symbol of the Turkish-Russian friendship,” he added.
Azerbaijan Ambassador to Ankara Faig Bagirov also gave a speech at the ceremony.
The event proceeded with a religious ceremony overseen by representatives of Istanbul’s Greek Orthodox Church, in which prayers were made and Christian rituals took place.
Karlov’s wife, Marina Karlov, was present at the ceremony, while the U.S. and Israeli ambassadors were also among the many foreign envoys in attendance. Turkish Foreign Ministry undersecretaries, members of the Turkish military, and opposition politicians also paid tribute to the late Russian envoy at the ceremony.