Tuesday, April 7, 2009

President Obama’s Remarks at Student Roundtable in Istanbul, Turkey

I was disappointed that I was not able to pay more attention to President Obama’s time in Turkey and, in particular, to the roundtable he had with Turkish students in Istanbul . Fortunately, I subscribed to RSS feeds from the Office of the Press Secretary of The White House where they posted the full transcript. To be sure, President Obama was not in Turkey to discuss international educational exchanges between our two countries nor did he explicitly discuss these during the roundtable. He did, however, allude to the history of exchanges between the United States and Turkey and the importance of such exchanges. Following are two quotes by President Obama that stood out to me and connect to international education:
"Turkey and the United States have a long history of partnership and cooperation. Exchanges between our two peoples go back over 150 years."

"Simple exchanges can break down walls between us, for when people come together and speak to one another and share a common experience, then their common humanity is revealed. We are reminded that we're joined together by our pursuit of a life that's productive and purposeful, and when that happens mistrust begins to fade and our smaller differences no longer overshadow the things that we share. And that's where progress begins."

You can read the full transcript of the roundtable here.
**UPDATE - Watch Video of President Obama's Talk**

The President Talks with Students in Turkey from White House on Vimeo.


  1. Thanks for pulling these quotes out of the transcript, David. They are important remarks to note!

  2. Thanks, Mark, for your comment. I think it's clear that President Obama fully understands the power of "Exchange" as a means to mutual (or at least better) understanding.