Turkey holds ceremony for assassinated Russian envoy

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu as well as a number of Russian and Turkish officials, foreign diplomats, and political figures attended the ceremony on Tuesday.

"Karlov became an immortal symbol of Turkey-Russia friendship," the Turkish deputy prime minister said in the speech, Xinhua reported citing state-run Anadolu Agency.

He said that assassination of Moscow`s ambassador "was another provocation of those who target Turkey-Russia friendship."

"Our determination is as great as our pain; Turkey-Russia relations will remain as strong as ever," Turkes vowed.

The Russian ambassador`s spouse and family attended the ceremony where farewell speeches and prayers were held.

Karlov`s body was placed on board an special aircraft for repatriation to Russia after the ceremony.

On Monday, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was delivering a speech at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in Ankara`s central Cankaya district when an off-duty Turkish police officer opened fire, critically wounding him.

Karlov was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An 18-member Russian delegation composed of security officials, prosecutors and experts arrived in Ankara on Tuesday to probe the killing.

Turkish police arrested six people over Russian envoy`s murder so far.

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