"It gives me confidence that moving forward, not only are we going to be able to improve our bilateral relations, but as we work together, we're going to be able to, I think, share a set of strategies that can bridge the divide between the Muslim world and the West. That can make us more prosperous and secure."
Earlier today, Obama sidestepped a question about his views on the sensitive topic of whether Turkey should recognize the accusation that the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against the Armenian people during and after World War I.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said, "The Armenian genocide is not an allegation" and supported the passage of a congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide.
Obama was asked today whether he had changed his stance and whether he urged Gul to acknowledge the genocide.
"My views are on the record and I have not changed my views," the president said, avoiding the word "genocide."
"What I have been very encouraged by is news that under President Gul's leadership, you are seeing a series of negotiations, a process, in place between Armenia and Turkey to resolve a whole host of longstanding issues, including this one."
In his speech to parliament, Obama said it was not about his views, but how the Turkish and Armenian people "deal with the past."
"The best way forward for the Turkish and Armenian people is a process that works through the past in a way that is honest, open and constructive," he said.
Obama said the United States "strongly supports" Turkey's bid to join the European Union, a statement that earned him a round of applause from the members of parliament.
Obama took a moment to express his condolences for the victims of the earthquake in Italy.
"We just heard the news of the earthquake in Italy and we want to send our condolences to the families there and hope that we are able to get the rescue teams and that we can minimize the damage as much as possible moving forward," the president said.
Earlier today, Obama placed a wreath at the tomb of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, the founder and first president of the Turkish Republic, inside the Ataturk mausoleum and signed the guest book.
Obama, who is left-handed, held notes in his right hand as he signed the guest book.
"I am honored to pay tribute to Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, a man who 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 relations between the U.S. and Turkey and supporting Ataturk's vision of Turkey as a…prosperous democracy giving hope to its people and providing 'peace at home, peace in the world.'"
He signed the note "Barack Obama."
ABC News' Stephanie Smith contributed to this report.