‘Shots fired at ambassador Karlov targeted Russian state’ – top senator to RT
The assassination of ambassador Karlov is a sign of a serious split in the Turkish elite, a top Russian senator told RT. The shots targeted the Russian state itself, but still won’t affect Moscow’s policies and its cooperation with Turkey and Iran on Syrian reconciliation efforts.
The murder of Russia’s ambassador Andrey Karlov showed that significant forces in the Turkish political elite wanted to undermine the ongoing Russia and Turkey rapprochement, the head of Russia’s Upper House International Relations Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, told to RT Arabic correspondent Salam Musafir in an exclusive interview.
“The Turkish government itself often finds it difficult to gain support of a stable political elite majority. Turkey continues to maneuver and take different sides, depending on the situation,” Kosachev told RT.
Russia’s rapprochement with Turkey is vulnerable and not yet “irreversible” as many differences between the two states remain, Kosachev noted.
“We still have serious differences in our approach to Crimea, we still have some differences in our approach to the untangling of the Syrian crisis, the Kurdish question. Such questions are important for Turkey, but they are also crucial for our country.”
It’s still unclear whether the murderer acted alone or as part of a group, but in any case the murderer clearly expressed the position of those who see Turkey as the “center of the world” and the only power in the region “to decide the fate of neighboring countries, such as Syria and Iraq,” Kosachev told RT.
“It’s not the first attempt to undermine Russia-Turkey relations. Let’s remember, for example, the downing of the Russian jet and killing of the Russian pilot,” Kosachev said. “But these attempts have never been that provocative, that blatantly anti-government. Of course a human being, named Andrey Karlov, was killed, but he was the ambassador of Russia. Shots were fired not at a specific man, but at the Russian state itself. At Russia, trying to erect a world order comfortable and fair for everyone.”
The assassination was a “systematic terrorist act,” which raised a number of questions about Turkish authorities’ ability to provide necessary security and protection from those “seeking revenge on government after the botched coup," according to Kosachev.
“It baffles us how the gunman kept shouting his slogans, explaining his actions and posing in front of cameras for several minutes after the killing of the ambassador. That’s an unthinkable situation if one has efficient anti-terrorism and police forces who should have gunned down the assassin immediately. We have a significant number of questions for Turkish authorities.”
READ MORE: UNSC condemns assassination of Russian ambassador as act of terrorism
Turkey immediately accepted Russian experts in who wanted to investigate the assassination, and a team of specialists is already working on the case, Kosachev told RT.
While some top Turkish officials, including President Erdogan, blame the elusive US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his supporters, Russia expects to see serious proof to form the foundation of such allegations, Kosachev added. It is too early to jump to any conclusions yet, Russia’s goal is to “find the truth, not use the incident for some political gain.”
The assassination is obviously linked to Russia’s activities in Syria, but it won’t affect them in any fashion.
“There’s no doubt that the Russian position on Syria angers many in the region and outside of it. Russian involvement foiled the plans of those who wanted to oust the Syrian government, who wanted to subjugate the Syrian people, who wanted to dominate in the region,” Kosachev said.
Those who initiated media campaigns deliberately “misinterpreting and demonizing” Russia’s actions in Syria, should also take blame for such incidents as Karlov’s murder, since constant misinformation might push susceptible people to fight “evil” Russia.
“One can be shocked upon seeing ‘Aleppo pictures’ in western media. But many of them are lies, staged. We see that even in other in other countries, in Egypt for example, there was a studio ready to shoot some ‘Aleppo footage’ with bloodied children and suffering elders. It doesn't hold water,” Kosachev said. “A lot of mentally unstable people react to that, unfortunately. They sincerely believe that acting against Russia in some manner is a fight against all evil. But such people are deprived from real information, their minds are being manipulated.“
The start of a new Russia, Iran and Turkey ‘troika’ format is “the most important event around Syrian reconciliation.” This format is strikingly different from traditional US-led coalitions, since it provides a diplomatic arena for “difficult partners” who might even have contradicting positions, but can in fact influence the situation in the region and eventually untangle it.
“Every time the US steps forward it tries to create a coalition to support its actions. Such coalitions often boast impressive numbers, but to a large extent are just a formality, since the countries which ‘join’ these coalitions don’t make their own decisions, don’t undertake any real steps. They only demonstrate loyalty to the US,” Kosachev told RT. “It contributes nothing to resolving the problems which the Americans are trying to defuse one time after another. We all know that these problems are very often not solved, but even worsened. We all know what’s going on in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the list goes on unfortunately.”