International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

National Identity and the Role of Diaspora: A Constructivist Approach to Turkish-Armenian Relations
Ebru Coban-Ozturk

Armenia and Turkey are the two countries which couldn’t develop a stable and peaceful foreign policy and bilateral relations by sticking in their pasts. Any commercial, political and diplomatic initiatives would be substantial and sufficient for many countries, but not for these two. Bilateral relations are carried on statically and stay on the plane of 1915 events without any improvement. Both of the countries have different approaches and claims regarding the events of 1915, thus reconciliation seems unlikely. They have both built their national identities on the sad events of their past and carry on their foreign policies accordingly. Diaspora has been involved in this identity building process at the Armenian side. The constructivist theory explains the extent of established identities’ influence on foreign policy actors. The existing national identities already built are in a position obstructing bilateral relations and leading to an exclusionary approach in the foreign policies of Turkey and Armenia. It may be important for both sides to build new identities toward each other to establish a peaceful and long-term communication in addition to concrete initiatives and steps in terms of political, commercial, and diplomatic affairs.

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