Does he know that Gul and Erdoğan want to weaken it?
“Obama wants to ‘strengthen Ataturk’s vision,'” from AGI, April 6 (thanks to James):
(AGI) – Ankara, 6 Apr. – Barack Obama has placed flowers on the tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to mark the start of his two-day visit to Turkey, the key ally Washington needs to resolve the problems in the regions, from Iraq to Afghanistan. “I can’t wait to strengthen the relations between the USA and Turkey and Ataturk’s vision of Turkey” said Obama. Ataturk was ”a man with a vision, he was tenacious and courageous and led Turkey on the way to democracy” he continued, adding one of the most popular slogans of the country’s first president: ”Peace at home, peace in the world”. Protected by 4,000 policemen in Ankara, Obama visited President Absullah Gul. This afternoon the US president will address the Turkish Parliament before his meeting with the premier, Recep Tayyp Erdohan. This evening Obama will fly to Istanbul to participate in a reception offered by Gul. Obama will also have talks with religious leaders and he will visit the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia….
This morning I had the great privilege of visiting the tomb of your extraordinary founder of your republic. And I was deeply impressed by this beautiful memorial to a man who did so much to shape the course of history. But it is also clear that the greatest monument to Ataturk’s life is not something that can be cast in stone and marble. His greatest legacy is Turkey’s strong, vibrant, secular democracy, and that is the work that this assembly carries on today.