"The event was routine enough — the opening of an exhibit of photographs of Russia — and when a man on stage pulled out a gun I thought it was a theatrical flourish," Ozbilici recalled in a first-person account published on APNews.com. "It was anything but. Moments later the Russian ambassador was sprawled on the floor and the attacker was waving his gun at the rest of us, shouting slogans."
He continued: "Guests ran for cover, hiding behind columns and under tables. I composed myself enough to shoot pictures."
Ozbilici’s photos of the attack were widely shared on social media:
AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici continued his work in the face of this. pic.twitter.com/mGdH37ZMei— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) December 19, 2016
Awed by the courage of the photographer who captured this terrifying shot https://t.co/7ux2Z5rU8c (Credit: Burhan Ozbilici/AP) pic.twitter.com/1vS475mtJQ— Hiroko Tabuchi (@HirokoTabuchi) December 19, 2016
Burhan Ozbilici, @AP photographer who saw this go down and lifted camera to make pictures, is a hero https://t.co/tnqgs7zChO— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) December 19, 2016
My goodness. Photo by AP photographer @BurhanOzbilici in Ankara. pic.twitter.com/uBa65KMNmS— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) December 19, 2016
What bravery AP's @BurhanOzbilici showed to capture those photos. Wire staff very often unsung and very often the heroes of this trade. pic.twitter.com/JYpXbrxIUm— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) December 19, 2016
AP photographer continued filing, didn't flee while a gunman assassinated the Russian Ambassador to Turkey. https://t.co/0j78Lg5wOJ— Brooke Wylie (@brookewylie) December 19, 2016
AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici with a late entry for photo of the year. The courage to take this simply remarkable. https://t.co/N8PvCzh9DR— Dan Stewart (@thatdanstewart) December 19, 2016