The Emniyet officer glared silently at Asher. For a while he said not a word.
Finnally he spoke,"I think you know why you are here. You are not a 'clerk from a small trading concern based in Palestine' are you?"
Asher replied, "Well actually I am..."
The Emniyet officer smiled, "Well yes. But we also know of your 'other activities'. We know who everyone is sooner or later. And as Turkey is neutral we really don't mind-normally. But an overt assasination attempt against Ambassador von Papen cannot be tolerated. So tell me what you know."
Asher replied, "I know that you know he was either a Moslem or a Jew."
The Emniyet officer asked, "Oh, how is that? The assassin set off his bomb to soon and was killed in the blast."
Asher said, "We have our own ways of finding things out as well."
The officer then said, "It has been said that there are members of your faction that would be willing to kill themselves if they could kill a German official in the process"
Asher said,"Undoubtably. But we also pride ourselves on maintaining some degree of discipline. There would be no strategic advantage for us in eliminating von Papen, it would be bad propaganda, and while he is hardly a nice person, he is not so odious to us that we would interupt normal operations to take care of him. It was not from us. It might have been from a fringe group or from a loner. On the other hand it could conceivably have been almost anyone. Von Papen, as you know is an addictive intriguer. It is likly that he made one mistake to many and got someone in Berlin angry. On the other hand German exiles bear him a grudge-they are convinced he was responsible for the Nazi's rise and their own exile. Then of course there are the British, the Americans, and the Russians who are his enemies on principal. However the British and Americans are bound by the same limitations that bind us and to a greater degree, being Great Powers. At least we know the actual would-be assassin is not a hireling-no hireling would be willing to kill himself."
The Emniyet officer said, "There are some among our investigators who believe that he didn't know the bomb would go off at that moment"
Asher said, "If he was dumb enough not to take account of that sort of thing, he should have had another line of work. No it was done by someone who either was willing to kill himself or was to naive to know that he was about to kill himself. However I think I know who did it."
The Emniyet officer said, "Who?"
Asher replied "It was the Russians. One of our sources said there was a rumor that Leonid Eitington, mastermind of the elimination of Trotsky was staying at the Russian embassy. It was dismissed as just another rumor at the time but it might not be. The Russians have never been careful of their reputation in diplomatic circles and of course they might want to cause trouble between you and the German's"
The Emniyet officer said, "Might you not do the same?"
Asher replied, "Actually no. You are more valueable to us as a neutral then as a belligerant. Turkey becoming a battlefield will cut off one more route for refugees. Will that be all?"
This story is based on an actual attempted political asassination
of a German Diplomat, plotted by the Russians.
The victim had the dangerous combination of a taste for intrigue with a curious lack of talent at it. Almost anyone might have conceivably wished to kill him for one reason or another. As it happened it was the Russian government, apparently at the personal orders of Stalin.