Home Editorial DIPLOMAT SHOOTING IN TURKEY

DIPLOMAT SHOOTING IN TURKEY

COMMENTARY, 21.12.2016

Violence happened again  in Turkey. If the normally, incidents  in Turkey lately were  in the form of bomb blasts in public places, last Monday (December 19) it was a single shooting a foreign diplomat. The victim was the Ambassador of Russia in Turkey, Andrei Karlov who was the middle of giving a speech at the opening of the photo exhibition “Russia Through Turks’ Eyes.” in Ankara. Although he had been rushed to the hospital, his life could not be saved. The gunman who later identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas, a 22-year-old man who worked as a police officer in Ankara, did the  shooting alone  in front of the audience, as confirmed by  Mayor of Ankara.

The Russian government called the  shooting as an act of terrorism. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova said Russia will fight terrorism tooth and nail. But since  the culprit died at the scene after the shooting it was difficult for the security forces to find out the motive of the heinous incident. However, the incident may be related to recent  demonstrations in Turkey against the Russian intervention in Aleppo, Syria.

When the  incident occured, Turkey was sending its  Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, to Moscow to meet the Russian and Iranian Foreign Ministers to discuss the situation in Syria. Inspite of the shooting incident, Russia however, still scheduled the meeting to go ahead. President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the shooting as an effort to undermine the Turkish-Russian relations. Erdogan accepted a Russian proposal to find out  the mastermind of the shooting  through a joint investigation team. For Turkey, this incident is a slap on the face  following  efforts to normalize bilateral relations after the recent  Russian aircraft  shooting incident by Turkey.

Indeed, this has  brought Turkey to be deemed as an unsafe due to acts of terror which have become more frequent there. Turkey is even considered not able to protect foreign diplomats who serve in the country.

Attacks on foreign diplomats in Turkey can happen anywhere, including in Indonesia. Therefore, the Indonesian security forces need to be vigilant to improve the protection of foreign diplomatic missions. A diplomat is a representative of his government who  must be protected for his safety in the country he is assigned. And this of course is the responsibility of the country concerned.

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