Russian envoy Andrey Karlov laid to rest in Moscow
REUTERS photoRussian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, who was killed in an assassination by a Turkish policeman in the capital Ankara, was laid to rest in a funeral ceremony held in Moscow on Dec. 22.
Karlov was shot dead with nine bullets fired by riot police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş late on Dec. 19 as he was delivering a speech for a photography exhibition at an arts center in Ankara. The assailant was also shot dead in the incident by police officers at the scene.
An initial ceremony was held at the building of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow. President Vladimir Putin, who promised retribution after the 62-year-old was killed, was among the mourners, including relatives and fellow diplomats. In the ceremony, the slain envoy’s body was laid in an open casket in Russian Orthodox tradition.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov laid flowers near Karlov’s body in a ceremony in the marbled lobby of the looming Stalin-era skyscraper in central Moscow. Lavrov said Karlov had been the victim of “a despicable terrorist act.”
Putin, who has said he knew Karlov personally and posthumously awarded him the highest military medal of Hero of Russia, paid his respects, briefly sitting beside the coffin and speaking to Karlov’s wife, Marina Karlova.
Karlov was a Soviet-trained diplomat who worked in North and South Korea during the 1990s and 2000s and was sent to Turkey in 2013.
Proceedings moved to Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral where the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, led a ceremony.
“He will go down in the history of the Fatherland,” said Kirill.
The envoy was buried later on Dec. 22 in a cemetery in a northern Moscow suburb with military honors, his coffin draped in the Russian flag.
“We must know who directed the killer’s hand,” Putin said.
Meanwhile, Turkish sources said Turkish state and government officials conveyed their intent on attending the ceremonies in Moscow but their request was denied, with Russian officials insisting that they wanted the funeral to be open to Russians only and not to individuals from other nationalities.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırm on Dec. 22 visited the Russian Embassy in Ankara while the ceremony was being held in Moscow to convey his condolences.