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Turkey's Muslim Armenians Emerge From Hiding

Part of a small community of ethnic Armenian Muslims in eastern Turkey helped mark Armenia's Genocide Remembrance Day on April 24 in a rare public display of their heritage a century after fear and persecution drove them underground. They or immediate family members survived the mass killings at the close of the Ottoman Empire that left more than 1 million people dead. The ceremony was held in the town of Tunceli. AFP photographer Bulent Kilic traveled to eastern Turkey for these portraits of some of those "hidden Armenians." (8 PHOTOS)

Armenian Muslim Mustafa Boztas poses in the eastern village of Mazgirt, in Turkey's Tunceli Province.
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Armenian Muslim Mustafa Boztas poses in the eastern village of Mazgirt, in Turkey's Tunceli Province.

A resident of the eastern Turkish village of Hozat, also in Tunceli Province, walks in the ruins of an Armenian church.
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A resident of the eastern Turkish village of Hozat, also in Tunceli Province, walks in the ruins of an Armenian church.

The Armenian church ruins in Hozat
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The Armenian church ruins in Hozat

Ibrahim Boztas, 79, sits in his home in Mazgirt in Tunceli Province.
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Ibrahim Boztas, 79, sits in his home in Mazgirt in Tunceli Province.

AFP reports that despite converting to Alevism, a heterodox sect of Islam, and taking Turkish names, the ethnic Armenians who stayed on their ancestral land suffered continued discrimination.
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AFP reports that despite converting to Alevism, a heterodox sect of Islam, and taking Turkish names, the ethnic Armenians who stayed on their ancestral land suffered continued discrimination.

A man rides a horse in the mountains of Tunceli Province.
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A man rides a horse in the mountains of Tunceli Province.

A giant map of Turkey, etched on a hillside outside the village of Hozat by Turkish Army soldiers, reads: "How happy is he/she who said, 'I am Turkish."
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A giant map of Turkey, etched on a hillside outside the village of Hozat by Turkish Army soldiers, reads: "How happy is he/she who said, 'I am Turkish."

Armenian Muslim Tahire Aslanpencesi works around her house in the village of Mazgirt in Tunceli Province.
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Armenian Muslim Tahire Aslanpencesi works around her house in the village of Mazgirt in Tunceli Province.

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