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Turkish PM's Ethnic Armenian Aide Retires Ahead Of Killings' Centenary


An ethnic Armenian adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has retired ahead of the 100th anniversary of the World War I-era mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

Etyen Mahcupyan -- the first member of Turkey's Armenian community to be a senior adviser to the prime minister -- told Reuters on April 16 that he was officially retired in March when he turned 65, but still informally advises Davutoglu.

Mahcupyan said the recent controversy over his comment that the Ottoman-era killing of Armenians qualified as a "genocide" has nothing to do with his job status.

Mahcupyan, who was appointed as an adviser to Davutoglu in October, caused outrage within Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party when he said earlier this week: "If accepting that what happened in Bosnia[-Herzegovina] and Africa were genocides, it is impossible not to call what happened to Armenians in 1915 genocide, too."

Armenia marks the beginning of the killings -- which it and many other countries consider a genocide -- on April 24.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and hurriyetdailynews.com

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