Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, a 22-year-old police officer who shot the Russian ambassador to Turkey to death on Monday evening, had on Friday visited the art gallery where the shooting took place, according to Timur Özkan, the coordinator of the photo exhibition.
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was killed at the opening of the “Russia through Turks’ Eyes” photo exhibition in Ankara.
Özkan told Turkish news outlets that Altıntaş was seen in the art gallery at another photo exhibit last Friday.
“My colleagues said they saw the attacker at another photo exhibit on Friday. They remembered seeing him after the attack. Just like he did yesterday [Monday] night, he came in a suit and was wearing a police badge. He viewed the photo exhibition and then left. Of course, nobody was suspicious of him. Our guess is that he either mixed up the date of the photo exhibition when he would carry out the attack, or he came that day to check out the area,” Özkan said.
The coordinator, who was in the hall at the time of the attack, said everyone thought the attacker was the ambassador’s bodyguard when he stood at his back.