Did Barack Obama talk out of turn about Turkey?

US President Barack Obama and Turkey's President Abdullah Gül (picture US State Department)

By Richard Laming

Published in EUobserver, 9 April 2009

On his tour of Europe earlier this week, US president Barack Obama spoke warmly about the prospect of Turkey joining the European Union. In address to members of the Turkish parliament in Ankara, he observed that “Turkey is bound to Europe by more than bridges over the Bosporus.

Centuries of shared history, culture, and commerce bring you together. Europe gains by diversity of ethnicity, tradition and faith – it is not diminished by it. And Turkish membership would broaden and strengthen Europe’s foundation once more.”

Those words have led him into a diplomatic and political storm.

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