People lay flowers during a ceremony to unveil a commemorative plaque, dedicated to Russian former ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated in 2016, in Moscow, Russia December 19, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
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One year after the murder of Russia's ambassador to Turkey in Ankara, Russian-Turkish ties are at their strongest point for several years although numerous areas of tension remain.The evening of Dec. 19, 2016 ambassador Andrei Karlov, a veteran of Soviet and Russian diplomacy, was shot dead by an off-duty Turkish policeman while inaugurating a photo exhibition in Ankara.There were fears the killing would again derail relations that had only been put back on track that summer with a reconciliation deal after the November 2015 shooting down by Turkey of a Russian war plane over the Syrian border.The last year has seen intense diplomacy between the two sides over Syria. Erdogan and Putin, who in late 2015 were violently denouncing each other, have met no less than eight times in 2017 .The latest encounter was on Dec. 11 when the Russian president flew into Ankara having met Syrian President Bashar Assad -- Turkey's foe throughout the nearly seven year Syrian conflict -- earlier that day.Russian tourism to Turkey has picked up, Russia has resumed work on Turkey's first nuclear power plant and work on an undersea gas pipeline is proceeding apace.
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