Obama earned a great reputation in Turkey
Planned a month ago, Obama’s Turkey trip has created a big sensation in Turkey. Obama’s polite and graceful attitudes showed his endeavours to change the view of United States for Turkey. It was Obama’s first visit to a country as the president of the United States as he stated. Obama is welcomed excitedly by the Turkish folk comparing to the any other previous presidents of the US.
Obama’s plane Air Force I arrived to Ankara Esenboga Airport on April 5th, Sunday night, and he went to hotel that night. On April 6th, Obama’s trip started formally. First of all, he visited Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who is the founder of modern Turkey; therefore, he is appreciated because of this trip since he showed his regard to the modern, secular Turkey and its founder. He left a note to guess notebook of Anitkabir concluding with Ataturk’s famous quote: “Peace in the world, peace in the country.” After that, he visited Abdullah Gul, the president of Turkey; furthermore, he went to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) to make a speech. This speech was the most important speech during his trip, and I watched it live.
In his speech, Obama firstly mentioned that Ataturk’s biggest heritage for the Turkish nation is the democracy and Turkish Republic. In my opinion, this was a terrific start to capture the crowd’s attention and get their admiration. Then he reminded the beginning of the Turkish-American relationship in sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire by mentioning about a story about George Washington and Sultan Abdulmecid. Obama then repeated his support for Turkey to get into European Union. Another topic of his speech was the Turkish-Armenian problem, and he stated that the problems should be faced by facing the history and the truth. This point was one of the few points that the Turkish politicians are not satisfied by Obama’s speech.
There were two times that acclamation raised in the assembly. First of them was when he said that Turkey is a country which gets its beauty from the blend of the East and the West. In this case, he said that he will not be happy to see Turkey to be separated into two parts such as East and West and he is against the secession. Another time that the acclamation raised in the assembly was when he noticed that there are many Muslims in the family of US citizens; furthermore, he is one of them. By saying these, Obama showed his sympathy to Muslims and endeavours to erase the bad image of US for Muslims which has been created by the previous presidents.
On April 7th, today, Obama went to Istanbul to complete his Turkey trip by having a dinner at the Alliance of Civilizations and visiting the historical places such as Sultanahmet Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
In short, Obama is really admired by the Turkish folk at the end of his trip because of his graceful attitudes. He organized little meetings with different people from different socio-economic classes, including the youth, politicians and folk. Again, he showed his leadership to all the world and he is starting to earn a wonderful reputation for the United States by establishing new relationships with every country without any prejudices.