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AKIPRESS.COM - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the man who killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey on Monday was a follower of exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, media report.
The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was shot nine times by off-duty police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas at an art gallery in Ankara. Altinatas later died in a shootout with police.
Pro-government media reported police found pro-Gulen literature that belonged to Altintas. He also had acquaintances who were Gulen sympathizers and attended extra classes at a school associated with Gulen's group. Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.
"There is no reason to hide that he's a member of the FETO (Gulenist Terrorist Network) network. All his connections, from where he was educated to his links, point to FETO," DW reported Erdogan as saying on Wednesday. The Turkish government calls Gulen followers a part of the "Gulen Terrorist Network."
Russia did not support the notion and warned against jumping to conclusions. "In this case it is hardly worth hurrying to any conclusions until the investigation determines – as our president said – who was behind the murder of our ambassador," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Peskov also called the killing a "blow to (Turkey's) prestige."