Obama’s Visit to Istanbul has been confirmed. US President Barack Obama, will be visiting Turkey on April 5th, and plans to visit both the Sultanahmet Mosque as well as the Hagia Sophia Museum.
The US President’s main visit will be Ankara, and will only spend a short time in Istanbul.
The US President will arrive in Ankara in the evening hours. The Obama’s have requested that nothing be scheduled for the first evening of their arrival. The next day, the President will first go to the Ataturk Mausoleum, followed by a meeting with the Prime Minister and then to the Presidential Palace.
A dinner with Turkey’s President Gül has been planned at an unknown location. During the dinner Obama will meet with the Chief of the General Staff İlker Başbuğ. Obama may give a speech at the Turkey’s Grand National Assembly on Monday April 6th. The General Assembly will be specially opened for the US President.
Obama will arrive in Istanbul on the evening of April 6th. That same evening he is expected to participate in the Alliance of Civilizations dinner. However, it has not yet been determined whether he will deliver a speech that evening or the next day at the closing of the forum. There is talk the dinner may be held in a location with a view of the Bosphorus or at the Dolmabahçe Palace.
Obama’s personal request for his Istanbul schedule included visiting certain historical sights. A visit to Sultanahmet Mosque, the Hagia Sophia Museum and Topkapı Palace, as well as a tour of the Bosphorus may be on the agenda. Obama may also spend time with students from Bosphorus University during his trip.
The president will make an European tour with his first visit London for the Group of 20 summit, where leaders of the world’s largest and emerging economies will discuss the global economic downturn. He then will travel to Strasbourg, France, for a NATO summit expected to feature a forceful U.S. appeal for more European troops in Afghanistan with fewer constraints placed on their deployment in combat zones. Then Obama will go to Prague for a meeting of European Union leaders and conclude the European trip with a stop in Turkey.
Also Bulgaria, Afghanistan, France as well as other countries have all confirmed that they will be travelling to Istanbul to meet with Obama.
Obama is seeking to highlight Turkey’s importance as a growing market, military ally and key player in securing oil and future natural gas from the Caspian region. Turkey is an important part of Europe, and an important voice in the Muslim world that shows that there doesn’t have to be a clash of civilizations.