Challenges to Turkey after Russian envoy shooting

December 25, 2016
Maqsood Bhattay


By: Maqsood Hussain Bhatti

A gunman shot dead Russian Ambassador to Ankara AndreyKarlov when he was speaking at an art exhibition in Ankara. The timing of the incident is very important as it was carried out a day before the foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia and Iran were set to meet to discuss the Syrian crisis that has claimed lives of over 400,000 people since 2011.

Assad regime has taken full control of Aleppo and evacuation process is currently underway in the city after a truce which had also benefitted Iran who demanded evacuation of Shiite militias from the Free Syrian Army-held areas Fuah and Kafarya.

The killing was a not only a grave shock but another unforeseen challenge for Turkey to deal with. The country is already dealing with numerous challenges both internally and externally.

Enemy is slowly and steadily encircling the transcontinental modern Muslim state located at a very important strategic position. From Greece, EU and the US to Iran, Syria and internally FETO and PKK, a cobweb hell bent to destabilise Turkey politically and economically.

The clever enemy had tried to kill two birds with one stone as the killing of the envoy could affect the Turkey’s improving relations with Russia and also evacuation process from bleeding Aleppo.

However, no one can deny that it was a big security lapse on the part of Turkish intelligence authorities.

Both Turkish and Russian leadership reacted wisely and foiled the attempt to damage their bilateral ties that are also very vital for Syrian crisis.

MrErdogan soon after the incident maintaining diplomatic norms telephoned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, briefed him about the killing of Karlov and offered condolences to the people of Russia.

Both the leaders realised the assassination was an attempt to damage normalization of bilateral ties and agreed to form joint investigation team.

Turkish intelligence agencies acting promptly unveiled the perpetrators behind the shooting. The off-duty policeman who killed the Russian envoy was linked to Gulenist terror cult (FETO) and the US should open her eyes now taking action against FethullahGulen.

The perpetrators of the shooting and other incidents of violence in Turkey attempt to raise a question mark on the Ankara’s law and order situation, destabilizing it politically and economically. Their intention is to create an impression that Turkey is a country of chaos and being run improperly by President Erdogan.

Infact the killing of Russian envoy on Turkish soil has put Ankara in a difficult very situation as many are trying to justify the killing and a debate is on especially on social media.
Some see it as a revenge for Russian involvement in massacre of Syrian people.

A little misjudgment of the situation arisen after the killing may provide an excuse to the world particularly adversaries of Muslims and Turkey to brand them extremists.

So the Turks are really needed to be extra careful in viewing this situation and beware of the conspiracy.The shooting of Russian envoy is condemnable and Turkey needs to play her cards wisely to deal with the challenges.

(The writer is a Pakistani journalist based in Turkey. He can be reached at

Published in Opinion, Social Pulse

Story first published: 25th December 2016




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