Karlov’s assassin stayed in hotel close to scene, took 11 shots
Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARAMevlüt Mert Altıntaş, who killed Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov in Ankara late on Dec. 19, stayed at a hotel close to the scene of the incident, according to initial investigations.
The police officer Altıntaş stayed close to the Contemporary Arts Center in Ankara, where he had booked a hotel.
According to recently emerged details, Altıntaş took a leave of absence on Dec. 19 and booked a hotel in order to plan the attack.
As the time approached Karlov’s speech at the opening of a photography exhibition, Altıntaş shaved and dressed before leaving the hotel to walk to the exhibition, which he entered by showing his police identification card.
Altıntaş reportedly took 11 shots, nine of them targeting the envoy.
Obtained leave of absence after coup attempt
Meanwhile, details of Altıntaş’s actions after the July 15 failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, have also started to emerge.
Altıntaş reportedly took a report of absence for two days after the thwarted coup, even though all police officers were called to duty after July 15.
He was on duty in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on July 15, but arrived in Ankara on July 16 after obtaining a leave of absence. He stayed in a house in the Demetevler district of the Turkish capital, daily Habertürk reported.
The police chief who allowed him to take the leave of absence, Kahraman Sezer, was arrested after the failed coup attempt over links to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Altıntaş himself was suspended over suspected links to FETÖ on Oct. 4 but was returned to duty on Nov. 16.
He had graduated from high school in the western province of İzmir in 2014.
Altıntaş shot Karlov while the latter was making a speech at a photography exhibition in the Turkish capital. Altıntaş, who shouted threats after shooting the Russian envoy, was shot dead by police at the scene.