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DIPLOMACY >I advised Obama on healthcare reform, Erdoğan says

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has revealed that he once advised Barack Obama to undertake healthcare reforms in the United States following a request by American tourists in Turkey, but his U.S. counterpart “could only solve the issue partly” due to “a negative reflex.”

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a health complex in Ankara on March 18, Erdoğan revealed more details about his “counselling” of President Obama on healthcare issues before stressing that other countries had tried to replicate the success of the Turkish model.

“Once I attended the Friday prayer at the Sultanahmet Mosque [Blue Mosque in Istanbul]. There were tourists. Some of them knew that I would be visiting the United States the following week. They asked me how we could be so successful in healthcare and wanted me to tell about it to Obama,” Erdoğan said.

“Indeed, I then talked about the issue with Mr. Obama. Of course, the negative reflex there [in the U.S.] made it really hard for Mr. Obama,” he added, noting that the U.S. president “could only solve the problem partly.”

Erdoğan said officials of European countries also visit Turkey to study the healthcare system.

“They try to take us as a model and build similar systems in their country. Don’t we have any deficiencies? We do, but now we are on the right path to success,” he said.

March/18/2015

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