From Jason Hanna and James Masters for CNN:
(CNN)The Kremlin has pushed back against Turkey’s allegations that a movement led by exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Ankara.
“We need to wait for results of a joint investigative group. You shouldn’t be in a rush to make conclusions until the investigation identifies who was behind the murder of our ambassador,” Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov said Wednesday.Russian and Turkish investigators are trying to learn more about the assassination of Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was gunned down Monday evening while speaking at the opening of an art exhibition in Turkey’s capital.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday that Turkey believes Gulen’s movement was behind the assassination, Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported.
The 22-year old Turkish special operations police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas, who assassinated Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov in Ankara Monday, Dec. 12, was a member of the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch. Atlintas approached the ambassador as he gave a speech opening a photo exhibit in the Turkish capital and shot him in the back five times. After yelling “We die in Aleppo, you die here,” he recited sentences from an Arabic prayer which are Nusra’s anthem. He went on shouting “We made an oath to die in martyrdom…it is revenge for Syria and Aleppo.”
He is believed to have added: “Until they are safe, you will not taste safety. Get back, only death will take me from here.”
Does Erdogan want to cover up Al Nursa’s involvement as he is on record as not seeing them as a terrorist organization because they fight ISIS? No matter really, as he’s thrown in with Putin who just sees the loss of his ambassador as a war casaulty. Still, the Russians hesitancy in letting Erdogan blame this on the Gulenists will be worth watching.