No, This Assassination Isn't Like the One in 1914

A look at the complex relations between Russia and Turkey
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2016 9:54 AM CST
No, This Assassination Isn't Like the One in 1914
Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, at a photo exhibition in Ankara on Monday. His killer is at left.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Monday's assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey has news outlets scrambling to make sense of what this might mean for the already complex relations between those two nations. Here's a look:

  • There's a lot of chatter comparing the killing to the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, which set off World War I. Don't buy it, writes Joshua Keating at Slate. The fear is that a proxy war between Russia and Turkey in Syria will turn into a real war, but Russia is blaming terrorists, not Turkey itself. Read the full post.

  • A New York Times Q&A agrees that a confrontation is unlikely, in part because Turkey has downgraded its ambitions in Syria and is no longer pursuing an ouster of Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Moscow. Read it here.
  • Remember Fethullah Gulen, the exiled Muslim cleric living in the US? Expect Turkey to blame him for orchestrating the attack, just as it did for a failed coup over the summer. That may increase pressure on the US to extradite him, reports the Washington Post.
  • The BBC rounds up what is known about the shooter, 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Atlintas. The Turkish police officer, who invoked Aleppo before being killed himself, was believed to be on leave at the time of shooting.
  • The New York Times public editor has a post explaining the newspaper's decision to prominently run graphic images from the killing. Read it here.
  • The foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia, and Iran met Tuesday and promised to work toward a settlement in Syria. "Notably absent" from the talks was the US, reports the AP.
  • This is bad news for Turkey's tourism industry, which had been hoping that a relative lack of friction in recent months would lead to a return of Russian visitors, reports Bloomberg.
(Read more Turkey stories.)

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