Assassination cell of FETÖ
The assassination was not only conducted against Russia’s ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov; those bullets were not only fired at him.
They were trying to assassinate Turkish-Russian relations. Those who were not able to destroy Turkey with a coup on July 15 are now staging a chaos scenario. They organized an assassination against Russia, which is our most important foreign support, to drag Turkey into chaos.
Karlov was an ambassador who exerted much effort to repair relations between Turkey and Russia during the Nov. 24 process. He was a diplomat who trusted our country so much as to wander around in Ankara without close protection. He was both our friend and guest. Unfortunately, we were not able to protect Karlov.
After the assassination of the Russian ambassador, the file about the shooting of the Russian plane should be re-opened because a finger, insistently, is plotting to destroy Turkish-Russian relations.
While Syria was being designed, our most important ally was Russia. On the day we were to start the Jarablus Operation after agreeing with Russia, on the day of Nov. 24, a Russian plane was shot down. After that date, we could not fly planes over Syria. We have learnt once more how important our relations with Russia are with what we experienced on the evening of July 15. The Euphrates Shield Operation and the evacuation of Aleppo have once more revealed the significance of this friendship. An assassination conducted against the Russian ambassador one day before a meeting with Russia, Turkey and Iran on Syria show that we are face to face with an international operation.
After the coup attempt, the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) members were deprived of the ability to stage a coup similar to July 15. But it was told that they could “awake their sleeping cells and conduct assassinations against strategic targets, first and foremost President Erdoğan. Suicide attacks were feared. The assassination against Ambassador Karlov has shown this. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been conducting twin acts for a while. FETÖ which has the same target has started staging its twin scenarios. The pro-Fethullah publication daily Today’s Zaman’s Ankara Representative Abdullah Bozkurt, in a tweet he posted on Dec. 16, said, “Ambassadors are not secure from now on.” We have learned what this means with the Karlov assassination. The sleeping cells of FETÖ have been activated. What their new targets are is unknown.
The assassin Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş seems to have been trained well. Not only he carried out the murder at the most critical stage of Turkish-Russian relations, he also was keen in creating an image of al-Qaeda or al-Nusra by speaking in Arabic. Altıntaş looks like a police officer at Ankara riot police for two years but it is understood that he is a professional assassin.
I don’t know if we will be able to learn who gave the assassination order to Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, which imam he was connected to or how he was notified of the order; because he was not caught alive. The fact that he had a doctor’s report on July 15 and that he attended the Körfez Preparatory Course which is a suspect in the “stolen questions case” give us clues to his FETÖ connection.
I had monitored closely how the downing of the Russian plane crisis was managed in Ankara. That day, Ankara was not aware what kind of an issue it was facing. There was too much heroic discourse that day. After Nov. 24, we understood the cost of having a problem with Russia.
This time, the possibility that had everyone’s hearts in their mouths was “Oh, are we going back to the Nov. 24 process?” But, both Ankara and Moscow did not allow that. The process was managed with a calm and solemn attitude appropriate of big countries. President Erdoğan first called Russian President Putin. After Nov. 24, Putin said, “I would have expected Erdoğan to call me before NATO did.” This time this was not allowed. Also, the two presidents decided that the Turkish and Russian police would work together to investigate the assassination.
I assume that as a person who closely monitored the bloody coup attempt of FETÖ members on July 15, Putin would not have any difficulty understanding that such a structure that tried to kill its own president is able to conduct an assassination against the Russian Ambassador.