“Russian ambassador’s assassin ‘guarded Recep Tayyip Erdogan,'” by Roland Oliphant, Telegraph, December 21, 2016:
The Turkish policeman who murdered Russia’s ambassador to Ankara provided security to Recep Tayyip Erdogan on multiple occasions in recent months, a pro-government commentator has claimed.
Melvut Mert Altintas, 22, served on police details backing up Mr Erdogan’s personal body guards eight times since the failed military coup that rocked Turkey in July.
Alintas, who served on an elite Ankara riot unit for two and a half years, was part of the second tier of security at those events, Abdülkadir Selvi, a columnist known for his close ties to the government, wrote in Hurriyet.
If confirmed, the revelations will raise questions about how the assassin passed through strict security screening despite plotting the murder of a high-ranking foreign diplomat.
Altintas shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “don’t forget Aleppo” after he shot Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, on Monday.
The off-duty policeman was killed shortly afterwards by Turkish security officers, who said they feared he was carrying a bomb.
The Turkish government has blamed the attack on Fettulah [sic] Gulen, a US-based preacher and critic of Mr Erdogan who has also been accused of orchestrating the failed coup in July.
The Kremlin distanced itself from those claims on Wednesday, saying that it was “too early” to name Altintas’ possible accomplices.
“We shouldn’t rush with any theories before the investigators establish who were behind the assassination of our ambassador,” said Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.
Mr Peskov added that the murder was a “certainly a blow to [Turkey’s] prestige.”
Earlier Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, was quoted as telling John Kerry, the US Secretary of States, that Turkey and Russia both believed Gulen’s followers were behind the attack.
Experts have questioned that account, saying Altintas appeared to have targeted Russia in revenge for the country’s involvement in the Syrian civil war….