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Armenian-Americans Sue Turkey Over Land Claims

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three descendants of Armenians, who lost their property in the Ottoman Empire, have filed suit in Los Angeles against the Turkish government for restitution of more than $63 million for acreage that includes the strategic Incirlik Air Base used by the U.S. military.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court says that ancestors of the litigants had their property confiscated in the alleged Armenian genocide. The families say they have deeds to the parcels.

In the past, Turkey threatened to withhold access to the base when Congress reconsidered recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Turkey has long denied that the loss of 1.5 million Armenian lives between 1915 and 1919 constituted genocide and instead describes the deaths as resulting from civil unrest that accompanied the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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