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Russian President Putin appoints Aleksey Yerkhov as new ambassador to Turkey

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Aleksey Yerkhov as Russia's ambassador to Turkey yesterday.

A related decree signed by Putin was published on the Russian government's official internet portal for legal information.

"Alexander Yerkhov shall be appointed Russia's new ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Turkish Republic," said the presidential decree.

Earlier in May, the Russian State Duma's International Relations Committee pledged support for the appointment of former Consul General in Istanbul Aleksey Yerkhov as the new Russian ambassador to Turkey.

Aleksey Vladimirovich Yerkhov was born on Oct. 28, 1960. He graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1983 and started his career as a diplomat in 1996. From 1996-2000, he served as an adviser to the Russian embassy in Israel.

Between the years 2000 and 2003, Yerkhov worked in the presidential administration. He served as deputy chief and then chief of the Department of Foreign Policy Training of the Russian Federation president's control measures on foreign policy, which is headed by Sergei Prikhodko, who is now serving as deputy prime minister.

From 2003 until 2006, he served as minister-counselor of the Russian Embassy in Syria.

He was deputy director of the Secretariat of the Department of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov between 2006 and 2009.

Yerkhov served as Russian Consul General in Istanbul 2009-2015.

From 2015 to 2017, he headed the Department of Crisis Management Center.

He is married to Yvette Yerkhova. The couple has three daughters, Elizeveta, Daria and Maria. Yerkhov speaks Arabic, English and French.

The previous Russian Ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov, was killed last December following an attack by a gunman at the opening of an art exhibition in the Turkish capital.

Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, 22, off-duty policeman, shot the ambassador nine times in the back while he was delivering a speech.

The assailant, who had managed to circumvent the metal detectors by flashing his police credentials, was killed in a subsequent shootout with Turkish guards.

The assassination came amid efforts towards rejuvenating Turkish-Russian relations after the 2015 jet crisis and establishing a nationwide cease-fire in Syria.

It was later revealed that Altıntaş's name was mentioned in a 20,000-word document stored on a microcard that was seized at the house of an alleged Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) member during operations in the last week of April.

The document, referred to as FETÖ's "police archives," reportedly mentioned the killer as "one of us," while also disclosing the identities of the so-called "secret imams" Altıntaş reported to and the infiltrators who mentored him.

The murder is being investigated by a joint group of Russian and Turkish experts.

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