Obama Sees Turkey's Influence and Value, Trip Shows

Obama overtures show that the United States recognizes nation's influence in the world.

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Thus, relations with Turkey will demand hands-on attention long after President Obama leaves Ankara. And that is how it should be. As a strategically located, secular democracy of nearly 80 million people, most of them Muslims; a member of NATO, the OECD, the G-20, the U.N. Security Council, the Organization of the Islamic Conference; and a candidate for the European Union, Turkey is worth the time and effort.

It is to President Obama's credit that he has understood this so soon.

Samuel Berger was national security advisor from 1997-2001 and is co-chairman of Stonebridge International.

Mark Parris was ambassador to Turkey from 1997-2000 and is currently visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution.