Turkey and Russian relations have been very uneven and the assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrey G Karlov was apparently an expression of anger by a lone Islamist who screamed Allahu Akbar adding ” Don’t forget Syria, Don’t forget Aleppo”but Russian president has chosen not to escalate the incident though there are discussions of World War III breaking out on the lines of World War 1 that started after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria,the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.
But the motives of the assassin, Mevlut Mert Altintas are not known. He could be connected to a jihadist group ie ISIS or lodging a protest against the role of Russia in Syria or could otherwise be a person with Islamic inclination.
As Turkey accused exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen for the killing of Russia’s envoy to Ankara ,Kremlin spokesman Dimitri peskov stated that Turkey should not be in a rush to make conclusions and wait for the results of a joint investigation.
If it is Islamic inclination or jihadist group than it is a cause for worry because the migration from war-ridden countries like Syria and others has led such persons to various countries of the world and it is difficult to identify such elements from amongst the migrants.
While Russia has its own problem in Caucasus having large Muslim population where recently a leader of Islamic State militant group was killed in Caucasus region of Daghestan.There has been a long history of armed insurgency in the North Caucasus between Russia and militants associated with the Caucasus Emirate and Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.
Even ISIS released a video in which the members of the jihadist group warned Russian President Vladimir Putin and threatened “Putin,we will come to Russia and will kill you at your homes.”
As a staunch ally of Bashar al-Assad,Russia actually intervened militarily in the Syrian civil war in September 2015 and conducted air raids on the rebel and jihadist groups. But in November 2015 , Turkey shot down a Russian jet that precipitated a major crisis. Then in 2016 President Recep Tayyip Erdogen held talks with Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg and mended ties after the failed military coup in Turkey.
The bone of contention is that Turkey is preventing Syrian Kurdish groups along its border with Syria that may strengthen Kurdish separatism in Turkey while Russia considers Assad as an strategic ally in Syria and is increasing the number of its allies to oppose US .
Meanwhile, Turkey has accused United States for conspiring with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen to bring down the Turkish government in a coup.
Erdogen ,who has been allowing militants including the Islamic State jihadists to cross into Syria now finds Russia a better ally than US to secure his presidency and his interests in Syria.Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu,who is currently in Moscow for talks with Russia’s Sergey Lavrov and Iran’s Mohammad Javed Zarif agreed to find a political solution to Syria .