Turkey Unsafe for Diplomats and Foreign Visitors
Turkish Terrorism Continues while ISIS Operates within Border
On December 19, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was fatally shot after delivering a speech at an art gallery in Ankara. The gunman reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and said in Turkish “We die in Aleppo, you die here” during the shooting which left Ambassador Andrei Karlov dead. The attack came amid protests in Turkey over Russia’s role in the Syria war.
The attacker was fatally shot by police after killing Ambassador Karlov and wounding at least three others in what Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called an act of terrorism. “We regard this as a terrorist act,“ Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters. “Terrorism will not win and we will fight against it decisively.”
Hours after the shooting, the United States State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs stated on its Twitter site: “Reports of shooting near US Embassy Ankara, #Turkey- US citizens advised to avoid Embassy area until further notice.”
Turkey remains unsafe for diplomats and foreign visitors traveling to Turkey, evident by recent attacks and security messages for U.S. Citizens.
In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey warns American citizens about demonstrations to take place on December 20 between Ataturk Park and Adana’s Central Train Station, which in the past have included anti-American messages. “Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Turkey’s Security Message.
The shooting of the ambassador is the latest in a string of attacks in Turkey this year. On Saturday, a car bomb exploded near a public bus in Turkey, killing 13 soldiers and wounding 55 people, according to Turkish officials. The prior week, a pair of bombings in Istanbul killed 44 people, including 37 police officers, and injured 155 others.
Terrorism within Turkey continues to increase as ISIS operatives are crossing the border and conducting business within the country. According to the The Independent, more than 57,000 emails published on WikiLeaks this month prove that Turkish Minister of Oil Berat Albayrak, son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is linked with a company that deals with ISIS-controlled oil fields.
Photo Caption: Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov speaks at a gallery in Ankara on December 19, just before a gunman (left) opened fire.