What Gun Was Used to Assassinate the Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey?

    The very public shooting of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, made headlines yesterday. The shooting was a politically motivated attack associated with the Syrian conflict and the city of Aleppo in particular. The gunman was an off-duty Turkish police officer, who apparently used his service sidearm in the shooting.

    Many different kinds of handguns are produced in Turkey, with even more types from foreign manufacturers seeing use inside the country. Turkey is one of the largest producers of handguns in the world, making clones of the Beretta 92, CZ 75, 1911, Walther P99, and a number of domestic designs for sale on both the Turkish market and, increasingly, the Western market as well.

    pistol 1

    The pistol used by the gunman.

    The firearm used by the gunman was a compact model of the Canik TP9, although the photos released to the public are not clear enough to identify exactly which variant. Due to the contour of the slide near the muzzle, the most likely version is the 9mm TP9 55 Compact, which still uses the Walther-style SA decocking button on the top of the slide, in front of the rear sight.

    pistol 2

    The image resolution is not high enough to make out a decocking button on the slide, but the other features are consistent with a Canik TP9 55 Compact.

    The TP9 is commonly used by Turkish police, with reportedly 50,000 or more being sold to departments in that country.

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]