Christopher Torchia, The Washington Post
ISTANBUL — Euphoria swept the world after the election of President Obama, a symbol of hope and yearning for compromise after years of war and resentment toward his predecessor’s style and policies. Today, after an electoral rebuke at home, Obama is still popular among America’s traditional allies, but his star power among Muslims – a focus of his international outreach – is fading…
A summer survey by the German Marshall Fund in the United States found that 78 percent of respondents in the European Union approved of how Obama was handling international policy, a slight dip from last year. The same study showed Obama’s approval plunging by nearly half to 28 percent in Turkey, reflecting traditional anti-American sentiment in a predominantly Muslim country that is a NATO ally. Opposition to the Iraq war was fierce in Turkey, whose parliament denied permission to U.S. troops to use bases on its soil in the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Similarly, a survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, released in June, found that Obama’s approval ratings were generally positive outside the Muslim world, although not quite as high as in 2009. However, the poll found that in Egypt, the percentage of Muslims expressing confidence in Obama fell 10 percent to 31 percent over the same period; from 33 percent to 23 percent in Turkey; and from 13 percent to eight percent among Pakistani Muslims.