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

Facebook launches amber alerts in Australia — a feature it hopes no one will have to use

Facebook launches amber alerts in Australia — a feature it hopes no one will have to use

The Indian TelegraphJune 22, 2017
Public housing cheats exposed over millions in rorts

Public housing cheats exposed over millions in rorts

The Indian TelegraphJune 22, 2017
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment - Australian Businesses Tap In To India

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment – Australian Businesses Tap In To India

The Indian TelegraphJune 19, 2017
ONLINE VISITOR VISA LODGEMENT FOR INDIAN NATIONALS

ONLINE VISITOR VISA LODGEMENT FOR INDIAN NATIONALS

The Indian TelegraphJune 19, 2017
Private drone ‘forced to the ground’ before explosion at Woomera weapons testing ground

Private drone ‘forced to the ground’ before explosion at Woomera weapons testing ground

The Indian TelegraphJune 19, 2017
Coalition's citizenship laws would give Peter Dutton power to overrule court decisions

Coalition’s citizenship laws would give Peter Dutton power to overrule court decisions

The Indian TelegraphJune 12, 2017
Man arrested after Virgin flight evacuated on landing at Albury airport in NSW

Man arrested after Virgin flight evacuated on landing at Albury airport in NSW

The Indian TelegraphJune 6, 2017
Minimum wage increases to $18.29 an hour, cuts to Sunday penalty rates to still go ahead

Minimum wage increases to $18.29 an hour, cuts to Sunday penalty rates to still go ahead

The Indian TelegraphJune 6, 2017
Terror attack in Australia: ‘We have to be ready, we can’t avoid it’

Terror attack in Australia: ‘We have to be ready, we can’t avoid it’

The Indian TelegraphJune 5, 2017
India rejects Australian request to join naval war games

India rejects Australian request to join naval war games

The Indian TelegraphJune 1, 2017
Australian researchers develop tiny silk implants that may restore hearing

Australian researchers develop tiny silk implants that may restore hearing

The Indian TelegraphMay 29, 2017
India and Australia: Why the two countries such close business partners

India and Australia: Why the two countries such close business partners

The Indian TelegraphMay 29, 2017
Three charged after ‘$1 million cannabis seizure’

Three charged after ‘$1 million cannabis seizure’

The Indian TelegraphMay 29, 2017
Drug smuggler Schapelle Corby won’t be allowed to cash in on her Bali saga with a pricey TV deal

Drug smuggler Schapelle Corby won’t be allowed to cash in on her Bali saga with a pricey TV deal

The Indian TelegraphMay 25, 2017
Uttar Pradesh government launches Anti-encephalitis campaign for 38 districts

Uttar Pradesh government launches Anti-encephalitis campaign for 38 districts

The Indian TelegraphMay 25, 2017
Boyfriend of Western Sydney dead woman Hayley Ernst charged with breaching AVO

Boyfriend of Western Sydney dead woman Hayley Ernst charged with breaching AVO

The Indian TelegraphMay 21, 2017
Vector-borne diseases: Delhi HC slams ‘lack of measures’

Vector-borne diseases: Delhi HC slams ‘lack of measures’

The Indian TelegraphMay 17, 2017
Inquest: diver Jarrod Hampton 'almost drowned' before death

Inquest: diver Jarrod Hampton ‘almost drowned’ before death

The Indian TelegraphMay 17, 2017
Understanding female genital mutilation: The practice and the issues

Understanding female genital mutilation: The practice and the issues

The Indian TelegraphMay 17, 2017
Madhya Pradesh: Three killed, 25 injured as bus topples in Dindori

Madhya Pradesh: Three killed, 25 injured as bus topples in Dindori

The Indian TelegraphMay 15, 2017
The wake-up call: The gun-running syndicate that shocked Australian law enforcement

The wake-up call: The gun-running syndicate that shocked Australian law enforcement

The Indian TelegraphMay 15, 2017