Thu, Feb 16, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Russia outraged by award for photo of killing

‘TERROR PROPAGANDA’:Russian official Konstantin Kosachev said that the choice was ‘on the edge of morality,’ adding that it may ‘inspire more terrorism’

AFP, ISTANBUL, Turkey

Russia’s embassy in Ankara on Tuesday expressed fury over the awarding of the prestigious World Press Photo Award for an image of an off-duty Turkish policeman assassinating the Russian envoy to Turkey last year.

The embassy, whose ambassador Andrei Karlov was shot dead in the Dec. 19 killing, said the decision by the jury was “demoralizing” and showed a “complete degradation of ethics and moral values.”

“Propaganda of the horror of terror is unacceptable,” it said in a statement on Facebook.

The image was taken by Burhan Ozbilici, a photographer for The Associated Press, who stood his ground as 22-year-old policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas killed Karlov at the opening of an Ankara exhibition.

Jurors commended the courage of the photographer and symbolic resonance of the picture, but the choice split the jury, with jury president Stuart Franklin opposing the choice.

“Placing the photograph on this high pedestal is an invitation to those contemplating such staged spectaculars,” he wrote in the Guardian.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said the choice was “on the edge of morality” and asked: “How many more terrorists could be inspired by this photo,” RIA Novosti reported.

Altintas was killed at the scene by Turkish security forces and the authorities said he was part of the group of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara blames for a failed coup on July 15 last year.

Russia, which sent an investigation team to Ankara after the killing, has yet to back this conclusion.

The street in Ankara in front of the Russian embassy has since been named after Karlov.

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