Obama on the Record: Turkey Town Hall

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.

So to all of you, I want you to know that the world will be what you make of it. You can choose to build new bridges instead of building new walls. You can choose to put aside longstanding divisions in pursuit of lasting peace. You can choose to advance a prosperity that is shared by all people and not just the wealthy few. And I want you to know that in these endeavors, you will find a partner and a supporter and a friend in the United States of America.

So I very much appreciate all of you joining me here today. And now what I’d like to do is take some questions. I think we’ve got — do we have some microphones in the audience? So what I’d like to do is people can just raise their hands and I’ll choose each person — if you could stand up and introduce yourself. I have a little microphone in my pocket here in case you’re speaking Turkish, because my Turkish is not so good — (laughter) — and I’ll have a translator for me.

Okay? All right. And I want to make sure that we end before the call to prayer, so we have about — it looks like we have about half an hour. All right? Okay, we’ll start right here.

Q I’m from the university. I want to ask some questions about climate issue. Yesterday you said that peace in home and peace in world, but to my opinion, firstly the peace should be in nature. For this reason, I wonder that when the USA will sign the Kyoto Protocol.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it’s an excellent question. Is this mic working? It is? Okay. Thank you very much. What was your name?

Q (Inaudible.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: As many of you know, I think the science tells us that the planet is getting warmer because of carbon gases that are being sent into the atmosphere. And if we do not take steps soon to deal with it, then you could see an increase of three, four, five degrees, which would have a devastating effect — the oceans would rise; we don’t know what would happen to the beauty of Istanbul if suddenly the seas rise. Changing weather patterns would create extraordinary drought in some regions, floods in others. It could have a devastating effect on human civilization. So we’ve got to take steps to deal with this.

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