When the world woke up on December 19th and turned on the news, they were greeted by a short clip of video where they watched the Russian Ambassador to Turkey get gunned down from behind with what looked to be a Canik TP9. This was immediately followed by a statement from the gunman in which he claimed that this was done because of the Russian involvement in Syria. The strangest thing about this whole situation was the obvious fact that the gunman had training because of how he handled the firearm with his finger straight and off the trigger when he wasn’t about to use it.
Usually we consider these types of radical individuals to be a bunch of punks and low-lives with little to no discipline or training with firearms. In this case however it was no less than a Turkish Police Officer who was off duty. Once this little jewel of information was released, my suspicions were for the most part confirmed that the pistol indeed was a Canik TP9.
The Turkish Police have used a long list of firearms through the years. Most of these firearms are licensed copies of more common pistols with a little Turkish twist to them, like the TP9. This pistol is a licensed copy of a Walther P99 with a little Turkish flare of 18+1 which requires it to be a bit taller than the P99. It hosts the same internal trigger design of the Walther P99, but with a slight deviation from the aesthetics. You can see the resemblance when you look at the front of the pistol.
The only unit of the Turkish Police forces that I know of to be issued these pistols would be the Turkish Police Special Operations Department. But what I can not figure out is why the barrel on his particular pistol has a stainless colored barrel when all the pictures I have ever seen of the TP9 are with black barrels. My guess is that the Turkish Police contract doesn’t want to have black barrels, or that these are upgraded aftermarket barrels. It is all speculation at this point.
So what exactly does this say about the TP9? Well, nothing really. It functioned how it was supposed to function and it lasted up until the end. Here in the US, people may see this as evidence that the pistol they bought for $300 is a quality pistol. It seems to be a solid pistol, and most people I know who use them have nothing but good things to say about them. They are rather large in comparison to the Glock 17 but seem to be serving people well as home defense guns or just range toys. With a height of 5.7″, I definitely do not think that this pistol would be ideal for carrying, unless you are carrying it in a bag. I know this event showed that you can carry bigger guns under a suit, but in general, people are not wearing formal suits like the gunman was wearing.
As always though, it is not the gun that makes the headlines in the news, but the man or woman using the gun. Any pistol could be used tomorrow or the next day to make headlines. For all we know, that pistol or rifle could be considered archaic and useless by the gun community, but used by the gunman to cause more damage than we thought was capable. The point is that any gun can do the job in the right hands and you don’t need to depend on the news to show you proof of it.
Another point I want to make about this whole event is the fact that the gunman was supposedly off duty. He was part of the most highly regarded Police Departments in the Turkish Nation. He used his credentials to get in, stand behind the Ambassador, and lie in wait until he was ready to strike. This is some scary stuff if you think about it. I think this speaks volumes to the fact that we should never let our guard down or commit blind faith and trust to individuals based off appearance or membership to organizations we feel aligns itself to our general interests. We live in an age of terror where anyone at any time can become a target. In my view, this is almost the same as one of our soldiers gunning down one of our Generals out of the blue while they are touring a military base. Just let this be a lesson that we still are in danger and we must be aware of our surroundings.