Turkey Update: President Obama's Trip to Turkey
April 8, 2009
By choosing Turkey as his second destination for a bilateral visit after neighboring Canada so early in his administration, President Barack Hussein Obama has sent a very important signal to his Turkish hosts, as well as the wider Islamic world.
The visit took place before the new administration has completed its foreign policy reviews and determined how exactly Turkey might fit into its overall objectives. Consequently, Obama’s talks with Turkish leaders were long on “atmospherics” and short on specifics. While extremely successful by any measure, the trip will not ensure a smooth ride in the important but complicated alliance between Washington and Ankara during the remainder of Obama’s presidency. Nevertheless, his recognition of Turkey’s geopolitical significance has helped immeasurably in eradicating the negative legacy of the previous administration and in opening a new chapter in relations.