Friday, April 3, 2009

Turkish Americans Await President Obama's Turkey Visit with Anticipation and Hope

3 Apr 2009 19:03 Africa/Lagos

Turkish Americans Await President Obama's Turkey Visit with Anticipation and Hope

WASHINGTON, April 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Barack Obama's visit to Turkey at the end of this week has been hailed "historic" by many observers of US-Turkish relations. The Turkish Coalition of America has expressed its strong support for the visit and optimism for the future of US-Turkish relations.

"Turkish Americans and friends of Turkey are very excited about the President's visit to Turkey and hope that it will be the beginning of a new era," said Lincoln McCurdy, President of the Turkish Coalition of America. "We are particularly happy to see emphasis on public diplomacy and expanding civic contributions to this relationship. The Turkish American community is already making significant contributions to US-Turkish relations by strengthening educational, cultural, civic, philanthropic, business and scientific exchanges between the United States and Turkey. The President's visit will certainly re-energize these efforts."

This is the first time that a US President will pay an official bilateral visit to Turkey this early in a Presidency. The Obama Administration's key cabinet members, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, National Security Adviser General Jim Jones and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, have been strong supporters of US-Turkey relations and are credited with the Administration's pro-active early outreach to Turkey by the President in recognition of Turkey's importance to the United States on vital foreign and national security issues.

During the visit, President Obama is expected to address the Turkish Grand National Assembly and hold high-level talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The groundwork for the President's visit was laid during Secretary Clinton's visit to Turkey last month, during which a wide variety of issues were identified for cooperation and consultation between the two nations. In addition to providing an important opening to address the wide range of regional and global security issues that affect both countries, the President's visit is also expected to open a new page in US-Turkey relations and significantly improve public opinion about America in Turkey.

McCurdy went further to emphasize that "Turkish public trust in America's friendship and support for a strong US-Turkey alliance will undoubtedly be enhanced by the President's visit. President Obama's election was greeted with hope and joy in Turkey. His early visit to the country, we believe, has the power to carry the US-Turkey relationship into a new era, one that is certain to benefit regional and world peace and prosperity."

The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) is an educational, charitable organization incorporated in February 2007. Based in the nation's capital, TCA's objective is to educate the general public about Turkey and Turkish Americans and voice their opinion on critical issues to interested parties; engage and cultivate a new generation of young Turkish American leaders; promote and advance the interests of the Turkish American community and Turks; foster friendship, understanding and cooperation between the United States and Turkey; protect the character and ensure a realistic portrayal of Turkey and Turkish Americans in the media and the arts; serve as a think tank of expertise and a clearinghouse of information on Turkey and Americans of Turkish descent.

Contact: Phil Elwood

Source: The Turkish Coalition of America

CONTACT: Phil Elwood, +1-202-423-7957,

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