"We're in a tough neighborhood," the musicologist said. "Our best friends are the Iranians. But I don't like them buying houses in the city center, and marrying our girls. And haven't you been to the big markets in Yerevan, and heard what language is being spoken? Not Farsi, which is a nice language, but Azeri Turkish. They are from the north of Iran, and many lived here before the war.
"And then there's the Georgians. I heard that the police caught a Georgian architect trying to blow up St. Hripsime church, because it's the oldest church of its type in the world, just a little older than a similar Georgian church. The Georgian wanted their church to be the oldest, so he was going to blow up St. Hripsime to take care of the matter.
"We know the Georgians won't do anything good for Armenia. The Turks have a plan to take control of northern Georgia, and create a bridge into Central Asia. They're already buying land in and around Batumi. The Georgians have agreed to give the south of their country...Javakhk and Marneuli...to the Turks and Azeris. It might stay Georgia in name, but Turkey and Azerbaijan will control everything but Tbilisi.
"And then there's the Turks. Does anybody really think they have any plan other than our destruction? First of all, do you know what they're doing in Javakhk? They're paying families of Meskhetian Turks $50,000 each to settle in Javakhk.
"If the border between Turkey and Armenia opens, we're finished. It's true that the border being closed harms our economy. But that's better than what would happen if the border opens. Picture this. There are nearly three milllion Islamized Armenians in Turkey. All the Turks would have to do is choose which ones they wanted to settle in Armenia...they could choose 100,000, or more, even half a million...and pay them to come to Armenia. They wouldn't choose Armenians that showed any sign of patriotism, just those who would come to Armenia and start making demands..."We need radio stations, schools, books, it's too hard for us to learn Armenian, so we need all these things..." At that point, you'll hear Turkish spoken as much as Armenian.
"And what influence the border opening would have on our culture, goes without saying..."