Community

As Russia’s ambassador was assassinated, a photographer witnessed it all

As Russia’s ambassador was assassinated, a photographer witnessed it all

When a neatly dressed man fired at the Russian ambassador to Turkey, a veteran photographer covering the “routine” event thought it was a “theatrical flourish”.

Instead, Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici’s photos captured the assassination of Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov at an art gallery in Ankara as it happened.

In a first-person account for AP, Mr Ozbilici said the gallery event was routine, the opening of a Russian photography exhibition.

“So when a man in a dark suit and tie pulled out a gun, I was stunned and thought it was a theatrical flourish,” he said.

“Instead, it was a coolly-calculated assassination, unfolding in front of me and others who scrambled, terrified, for cover as the trim man with short hair gunned down the Russian ambassador.”

The photographer had only decided to attend the exhibition, titled “From Kaliningrad to Kamchatka” because it was his way home from the Ankara office.

The speeches had already begun by the time he arrived.

“After Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov began to make his address, I moved closer to photograph him, thinking the pictures would come in useful for stories on Turkish-Russian relations.”

As much as Ozbilici could tell, the ambassador was speaking lovingly about his homeland, appearing calm and humble.

Then came the gunshots in quick succession.

1482219967367

“The ambassador’s body lay on the floor, just meters away from me. I couldn’t see any blood around him; I think he may have been shot in the back.

“It took me a few seconds to realise what had happened: A man had died in front of me; a life had disappeared before my eyes.”

The photographer moved to the side of the room while the gunman, who was later identified as police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas, gestured with his gun at people cowering on the right side of the room.

At first, he thought Altintas might be a Chechen militant. Others said he was shouting about the Syrian city of Aleppo.

“So he was probably angry about Russian bombardments of Aleppo that were aimed at driving out anti-government rebels. Many civilians have been killed in the fighting.

“He also shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’, but I couldn’t understand the rest of what he said in Arabic.”

Ozbilici reports the gunman was agitated, even walking around the ambassador’s body and smashing photos hanging on the wall.

“I was, of course, fearful and knew of the danger if the gunman turned toward me. But I advanced a little and photographed the man as he hectored his desperate, captive audience.

“This is what I was thinking: I’m here. Even if I get hit and injured, or killed, I’m a journalist. I have to do my work. I could run away without making any photos. … But I wouldn’t have a proper answer if people later ask me: ‘Why didn’t you take pictures?'”

– with AP

Online Source: smh

Community

More in Community

Dhanteras 2017: Why do you buy gold, silver and utensils on this day; and things to remember while buying

Dhanteras 2017: Why do you buy gold, silver and utensils on this day; and things to remember while buying

The Indian TelegraphOctober 17, 2017
Official launch of Adani's Carmichael mine cancelled

Official launch of Adani’s Carmichael mine cancelled

The Indian TelegraphOctober 16, 2017
Diwali festival to light up Blacktown Showground this Sunday

Diwali festival to light up Blacktown Showground this Sunday

The Indian TelegraphOctober 14, 2017

Inside the mind of Ruma Mundi

The Indian TelegraphOctober 12, 2017

President seeks sustained engagement with overseas community

The Indian TelegraphOctober 12, 2017
NSW to weaken water quality test for extensions to mines

NSW to weaken water quality test for extensions to mines

The Indian TelegraphOctober 10, 2017
Masterchef Australia’s Chef George Calombaris on jalebis, spices and food fantasies

Masterchef Australia’s Chef George Calombaris on jalebis, spices and food fantasies

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 27, 2017
Aussies ‘treated like criminals’ at US border

Aussies ‘treated like criminals’ at US border

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 25, 2017
National disability insurance scheme 'faceless' and rigid, inquiry told

National disability insurance scheme ‘faceless’ and rigid, inquiry told

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 20, 2017
Lord Ganesha

Calls to ban ‘insulting’ lamb ad featuring Ganesha dismissed by standards bureau

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 19, 2017
Shark alert issued after man injured in Point Samson

Shark alert issued after man injured in Point Samson

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 12, 2017
Peppa Pig 'spiders can't hurt you' episode pulled off air in Australia – again

Peppa Pig ‘spiders can’t hurt you’ episode pulled off air in Australia – again

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 5, 2017
Australian Number Plate Sells For Record-Breaking $2.45 Million

Australian Number Plate Sells For Record-Breaking $2.45 Million

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 2, 2017
Shark nets to be trialled again on New South Wales north coast beaches

Shark nets to be trialled again on New South Wales north coast beaches

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 1, 2017
Police search for man who indecently assaulted teenager

Police search for man who indecently assaulted teenager

The Indian TelegraphAugust 30, 2017
Australia offers to train Philippine army in fight against Islamic State

Australia offers to train Philippine army in fight against Islamic State

The Indian TelegraphAugust 29, 2017
Bail for man accused of driving getaway car in Bondi attack

Bail for man accused of driving getaway car in Bondi attack

The Indian TelegraphAugust 26, 2017
National Skills Week 2017: Vocational training is the first step for many creative careers

National Skills Week 2017: Vocational training is the first step for many creative careers

The Indian TelegraphAugust 26, 2017
Proposed citizenship changes might have prevented Sydney siege, official says

Proposed citizenship changes might have prevented Sydney siege, official says

The Indian TelegraphAugust 25, 2017
Coalition urges high court to fast-track MPs' citizenship cases

Coalition urges high court to fast-track MPs’ citizenship cases

The Indian TelegraphAugust 23, 2017
Facebook

Senate hears Facebook pays news publishers average of $100 a day to use content

The Indian TelegraphAugust 23, 2017