Obama turns to public diplomacy in Istanbul
US: Pledging respect for Islam, US President Barack Obama turned to
public diplomacy Tuesday, meeting religious leaders and students and
touring ancient monuments in Istanbul on the second day of his first
visit to a mainly Muslim nation.
In a major speech at the Turkish parliament, Obama declared Monday
the United States is not and will never be at war with Islam and called
Turkey a "critical ally," earning himself much praise in a country where
his precedessor left the US image in tatters. "Obama conquers hearts,"
the popular Vatan newspaper trumpeted on its front page, while the
Islamist-leaning Zaman hailed the president's "historic and warm
The liberal Taraf declared the president's remarks marked the end of
"the bellicose spirit of September 11," while the mass-selling Milliyet
described Turkey as the starting point of a new US policy of
reconciliation with the Muslim world.
ISTANBUL, Tuesday, AFP