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Turkish and Russian officials labeled the assassination of Andrey Karlov, Moscow's envoy to Turkey, at an art exhibition in Ankara a “terrorist” attack. Karlov was shot in the back by a gunman who, according to reports, proceeded to shout jihadist slogans.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the attack was “a provocation” that wouldn't affect the thaw in relations between Moscow and Ankara, which were plunged into crisis last year as the countries took different sides in Syria's civil war. Russia's intervention in the war on behalf of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad infuriated Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was one of the first world leaders to call for Assad's departure.

In the months since, Turkey had to calibrate its position as the Assad regime dug in and Syrian Kurdish factions galvanized support among Turkey's restless Kurdish minority. Recently, Turkey has worked closely with Russia to find a solution for civilians trapped in the war-ravaged Syrian city of Aleppo.

That doesn't mean all Turks accept Russia's role in a conflict that rages on their doorstep. Protests were held outside Russian diplomatic buildings in Istanbul and Ankara. At the scene of Karlov's killing, the shooter reportedly declared that his actions were retribution for Russia's role in bombing rebel-held areas of Aleppo before he was killed by Turkish security personnel.

Analysts cautioned against alarmist fears of a collapse in diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“No, this is not Sarajevo 1914,” tweeted Turkish columnist Mustafa Akyol, referring to the assassination of a Habsburg royal by a Serbian nationalist that preceded World War I. “For Ankara and Moscow will not wage war. Quite the contrary, they may even get closer...”

The assassination of Russia’s ambassador in Turkey creates a crisis for Erdogan - The Washington Post

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