(DIP) U.S. PRESIDENT OBAMA VISITS ATATURK'S MAUSOLEUM.
He laid a wreath at Ataturk's tomb and observed a minute of silence by putting his hand on his heart.
Later, he signed the special book of the mausoleum: "I have the honour to pay tribute to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk a man whose vision, tenacity and courage put the Republic of Turkey on the path of democracy and whose legacy continues to inspire generations around the world. As the 44th president of the United States of America, I look forward to strengthening U.S.-Turkish relations and to supporting Ataturk's vision of Turkey as a modern and prosperous democracy giving hope to its people and providing 'peace at home, peace in the world'."
Tight security measures were taken in and around the mausoleum before and during the visit.
Later, President Obama left the mausoleum for the Cankaya Presidential Palace.
An official welcoming ceremony will take place in honor of President Obama at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. President Obama will meet with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and partake in a luncheon to be hosted in his honor. Later, President Gul and President Obama will hold a joint news conference.
President Obama will meet with Turkish Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan. He is also set to hold separate talks with Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli and Democratic Society Party (DTP) Ahmet Turk. Then, he will address the Turkish parliament.
After meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Obama will proceed to Istanbul to attend the Alliance of Civilizations forum.
(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)