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Turkey: Ready to ‘confront’ killings of Armenians

ANKARA, Turkey — Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that his nation was ready to ‘‘confront’’ its history of killing ethnic Armenians nearly a century ago, but stopped short of admitting it was genocide.

In a speech in Parliament, Erdogan reiterated a call for Armenia and Armenians living abroad to participate in research with Turkey to document precisely what happened.

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Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey however, denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated, and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.

‘‘We are saying, let’s wipe away the tears, push prejudices to one side, and reveal historic truths . . . in an objective manner,’’ Erdogan said.

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