ANKARA: Dr. Laciner: `Turkish-Armenian Alliance is not Impossible’

Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey
Feb 4 2005

Dr. Laciner: `Turkish-Armenian Alliance is not Impossible’

Jan SOYKOK, ANKARA – Dr. Sedat Laciner told JTW that Turkey-Armenia
alliance is possible. Laciner said Armenian state cannot survive in a
hostile region and has to solve its problems with Turkey, Georgia and

Laciner further continued:

`As a matter of fact that neither the Western States nor the Armenian
Diaspora radicals see Armenia’s national interests as their priority.
Armenia’s and Diaspora’s interests are not the same. As Dr. Nilgun
Gulcan pointed out Armenia and Diaspora has contrary interests.
Diaspora needs more dispute between Turks and Armenians, because many
Diaspora Armenian enjoy from the `genocide industry’. If Turkey and
Armenia solve their problem they could not abuse the past for their
individual interests. Many diaspora institutions are dependent on
`genocide donations’. Many Armenian actors, businessmen, politician
etc. in Northern America and Europe see Turkish-Armenian problems as
source of power. When the both side put an end to the historical
misunderstandings many militants will lose their financial and
political power over the ordinary Armenians in diaspora. Similarly
some of the Diaspora institutions argue that the 1915 Legacy is the
most important thing uniting Armenians. According to this approach,
Diaspora Armenians need a uniting cause in order to resist
assimilation. Otherwise, they think, Armenian identity would be
diminished in front of the strong Western cultures.

However Armenian state needs Turkey and other Turkic peoples.

Armenia is surrounded by more than 100 million Turkish people
(Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran Azerbaijan). Georgia is an ally of
Turkey and has good relations with the Western states though Armenia
stayed the only Russian ally in the region.

Armenia is a relatively small and poor country, it is land-locked. If
Armenia can solve its problems with Turkey the life would be easier
for the Armenians.

In my opinion Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan could establish
an economic regional integration in Caucasus. Turkey could be a
European door for the Armenian businessmen and people. Turkish
universities can open their doors to Armenian youth. Armenia cannot
survive in a hostile region. So-called Russian support or relations
with Iran cannot substitute relations with Turkey. A strong
Turkish-Armenian regional ally would change a lot in the region. If
Turkey and Armenia can establish a strong friendship, foreign direct
investment would boom, security problems down, and the region would
become a trade centre for the Central Asia, Black Sea and the Middle