A street vendor sells flags with portraits of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during the opening ceremony of Eurasia Tunnel in Istanbul, Turkey, December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
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The assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey fits into a long tradition of political violence in a country where the fallout from the Syrian war is deepening the chaos.While Russia and Turkey suspect the killer of Ambassador Andrei Karlov was part of a wider conspiracy, the Turkish government has come under scrutiny for its tolerance – or sponsorship – of Islamist rebel groups in Syria in recent years that may have indirectly radicalized some young Turks. The political calculations on Syria come as Turkey has endured regular bombings and other attacks, shaking the government of Erdogan even as he seeks to increase the power of his post by pushing for constitutional changes.The turbulence has prompted comparisons with 1970s political unrest in Turkey that led to a 1980 military coup.This time around, Turkey is grappling with Kurdish militant attacks, deploying troops in northern Syria to fight Kurds and Daesh (ISIS), and purging suspected followers of Gulen. Karlov's death is the latest shocking act of violence in Turkey, home to several million Syrian refugees and multiple security threats.
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