Obama Tells Young Turks to Look Past US 'Stereotypes'

Says America still stands for greater good
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 7, 2009 6:33 AM CDT
President Barack Obama shakes hands with members of the audience following his town hall meeting at Tophane Cultural Center in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, April 7, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama wrapped up his first foreign trip as president with a request of the world: Look past his nation's stereotypes and flaws. "You will find a partner and a friend in the United States of America," he declared today in a town hall meeting with Turkish students. Obama rejected perceptions that the US has grown selfish and crass, saying, "I'm here to tell you that's not the country I know and not the country I love."

Opening the gathering in Istanbul, the president said he considered reaching out to young people "the best hope for a peaceful, prosperous future." He said he knows there are "stereotypes out there,” but he wants to improve America's global dialogue, promising a “new chapter in American engagement.” “America, like every other nation, has made mistakes and has its flaws,” he said. “But for more than two centuries,” the US has sought a more perfect union.