President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said on Wednesday that he had no doubt the assassin of Russia’s ambassador had belonged to the outlawed Turkish organization of Mr. Erdogan’s rival, Fethullah Gulen.
The president’s assertion, 48 hours after the ambassador was gunned down by an off-duty police officer at an Ankara art gallery, essentially doubled down on the Turkish government’s contention that evidence showed the assassin was a sleeper agent of Mr. Gulen, a Muslim cleric.
Mr. Gulen, who lives in exile in the United States, has denounced the assassination and denied any complicity in it. His spokesman has called such accusations “nonsense” meant to distract attention from what amounts to a spectacular security lapse in the Turkish capital.
The Russian ambassador, Andrey G. Karlov, was shot multiple times on Monday evening by the off-duty policeman, Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, who shouted jihadist slogans and said, “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” His words suggested he was avenging victims of Russia’s intervention in the Syrian conflict. Mr. Altintas was fatally shot by other police officers.
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