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Turkish PM downplays threat to expel Armenians - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – The Turkish prime minister, facing widespread anger after threatening to expel thousands of Armenian illegal immigrants, is seeking to reassure Turkey’s minority Armenian community they were not the target.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted Friday his government has championed minority rights.

Erdogan had said Tuesday in an interview with the BBC Turkish service that illegal immigrants from Armenia would be expelled, sparking outrage among the opposition and media. He made the threat after U.S. and Swedish lawmakers approved measures to recognize the Ottoman-era killings of Armenians as genocide.

Erdogan’s government complains its efforts to reconcile with Armenia and reopen their border have not been reciprocated.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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