ISTANBUL, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he spoke to Russia's Vladimir Putin and they both agreed the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Ankara by a gunman was an act of provocation by those looking to harm relations their countries.
In a video message broadcast on Turkish television, Erdogan said Turkey-Russia relations were vital for the region and those who aimed to harm ties were not going to achieve their goals.
The Russian ambassador to Ankara was shot in the back and killed while giving a speech at an art gallery on Monday. Turkish security sources said the gunman, who shouted "Don't forget Aleppo", was an off-duty police officer.
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan