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Turkish Journo Who Captured Russian Envoy's Assassination Wants to Pay Tribute

© AFP 2021 / Natalia KOLESNIKOVA Flowers are placed in front of a portrait of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov in the Foreign Ministry in Moscow a day after the assassination of the Russian ambassador in the Turkish capital
Flowers are placed in front of a portrait of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov in the Foreign Ministry in Moscow a day after the assassination of the Russian ambassador in the Turkish capital - Sputnik International
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ANKARA (Sputnik) - Wednesday marks the second anniversary of Russian envoy to Turkey Andrey Karlov's murder. The diplomat was shot dead on December 19, 2016, by an off-duty Turkish police officer, Mevlut Mert Altintas, at the opening of an art gallery exhibition in Ankara. The attacker was killed at the scene by the police.

Burhan Ozbilici, an Associated Press photojournalist, who won the 2017 World Press Photo of the Year award for his image of the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey, told Sputnik that he wanted to bring flowers to the diplomat's grave in Russia.

Street in Ankara renamed after Ambassador Andrei Karlov - Sputnik International
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"My dream is to come to Russia and put flowers on the grave of Andrey Karlov. As a photographer, I was charmed by his charisma… I felt his calm confidence, deep soul and started taking pictures of him with great love… He was not only a politician and a diplomat but first of all a representative of the great Russian culture," Ozbilici said.

The photojournalist said a friend had invited him to come to the exhibition, stressing that he had no feeling that something tragic was going to happen.

READ MORE: Turkey Arrests Exhibition Organizer Over Russian Ambassador Karlov Assassination

Gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016 - Sputnik International
Russian Ambassador's Murderer Collected Data on Karlov Since October - Reports
"I knew nothing about this exhibition and the participation of the Russian ambassador. My friend told me about the opening of the exhibition and offered me to attend it. And I started taking pictures. And it just so happened that I stood close to him at the last minutes of his life," Ozbilici noted.

Ozbilici’s photograph captured Altintas shouting while holding a gun after killing Karlov at the exhibition.

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