Turkish authorities have asked Apple to help unlock the iPhone 4s belonging to the off-duty police officer who shot and killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey. Apple is expected to refuse the request, but MacReports says the Russian government is expected to lend assistance in unlocking the device.
Apparently Russia offered help and Russia is planning to send a special technical team to Turkey to unlock the iPhone, a senior Turkish official told us. Turkish officials also contacted Apple. Although Apple has not said anything yet, it is clear that Apple will not help.
Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was shot and killed in Ankara on Monday, by a man identified as Mevlut Mert Altıntas, an off-duty riot police officer who used his police ID to gain access to the art gallery where Karlov was speaking. Altıntas was later killed during a shootout with Turkish special forces.
The assassination has been described as an attempt to destabilize relations between Russia and Turkey, as they work to address their differences concerning the conflict in Syria.
The situation recalls a similar case, in which Apple was asked by the FBI to unlock the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. Apple refused, saying any backdoor it might create to access the device could fall into the wrong hands. The FBI eventually contracted an Israeli security firm to unlock the device. Nothing of interest was discovered on the device.