President Obama’s strong statement in support of Turkey’s application for entrance into the European Union caused some negative reaction among European leaders such as President Nicolas Sarkozy of France who thought the American was attempting to get involved in the internal affairs of Europe. Some Turks wonder if the Obama endorsement will damage their application, but most analysts believe it can only be a positive factor. Grenville Bysford, a long time researcher on Turkey noted in reference to any damage that might result from the Obama support: “It would be if Bush had said them, but Barack can get away with things Bush could only dream about.” There is still a tremendous resentment of Bush within the European Union and thus its leaders are willing to bend over backward to support the new American president.
Most Turkish leaders believe the Obama comment can only stand to give greater credence to their application for entry into the European Union. Obama has come across as a Western leader who is gaining support within the Muslim world for his positive comments about Muslims and his desire to heal old wounds.