2017 Photo Contest, World Press Photo of the Year

An Assassination in Turkey


Burhan Ozbilici

19 December, 2016

Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş shouts after shooting Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov, at an art gallery in Ankara.

Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov was assassinated by an off-duty Turkish police officer, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, while he was speaking at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey, on 19 December. Altintas shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is great) and later said in Turkish: “Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria.” He was killed in a shootout after Turkish Special Forces arrived at the gallery. Russia and Turkey supported opposing sides in the Syrian civil war, with Russia backing forces loyal to the Syrian government and Turkey supporting certain rebel groups. In the months prior to the attack, relations between the two countries had developed into a strategic partnership, with each curbing their support in their own strategic interest..

About the photographer

Burhan Ozbilici

The son of a Turkish intellectual and a hero of Turkey’s War of Independence, Burhan had a classical high school education in different Turkish cities. He studied French at an in...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
58.0 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

This image is collected in