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Life Imprisonment For Five Civilians For Murder Of Russian Ambassador To Turkey

Life imprisonment for five civilians for the murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey.

Andrei Karlov , ambassador of Russia in Turkey , was shot dead on 19 December 2016 in the Turkish capital, at the opening of an art exhibition. According to the Turkish justice, the convicted, in addition to the perpetrator of the shots, were part of the brotherhood of Fethullah Gülen , accused of being a terrorist by Ankara.

Five civilians were sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday in connection with the December 2016 murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov . According to the Turkish justice system, those convicted helped the material perpetrator of the murder, Mevlüt Mert Altintas , to infiltrate the Turkish police and secret services and then kill the Russian diplomat.

Altintas, who shot Karlov in the back while he was opening an art exhibition in Ankara , was killed in the same action, after being killed by the police. The event was initially blamed on the former Jabhat al Nusra , an organization now called Hayat Tahrir al Sham, which was, in 2016, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. At that time, in 2016, tensions in Syrian territory were high due to the siege of Aleppo and the involvement of Russian aviation in discriminatory bombings against civilians .

The Turkish court, however, has not targeted Al Qaeda as the organization that was behind the murder of Karlov, but the brotherhood of the Turkish Islamist cleric Fethullah Gülen , considered the leader of a criminal and terrorist group by Turkey.

Ankara also names him as the head of the coup attempt in July 2016 – just five months before the assassination of the Russian ambassador. In the attempt , 251 civilians died at the hands of the rebel soldiers.

“Destroy relationships”
According to the Turkish court, Gülen himself, who has lived in exile in the United States since the 1990s, was the one who gave the green light to the murder of Kárlov. His intention, says the Turkish justice, was to muddy the relations between the Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan .

“The sole intention of the attack was to destroy relations between Turkey and Russia. In addition, they also sought to boost the morale of the members of Fetö [the name given to the Gülen group in Turkey], and prepare the ground for the coup, ”says the Turkish court, which assures that the murder had to happen before of the attempt, but that had to be postponed.

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