Biden cold shoulders Erdogan as request for call left unanswered

US president-elect has grown distant to the Turkish leader, but there are signs both sides will seek to work the relationship out

With just seven days until Joe Biden assumes office, the US president-elect is yet to respond to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s offer of a phone call, an unusual snub for a powerful Nato ally.

Three people familiar with the issue told Middle East Eye that Erdogan‘s office requested a call with Biden last month, but weeks later no conversation has been arranged.

Biden’s decision not to pick up the phone is hardly surprising considering his remarks last year to the New York Times, in which he said that Washington should take a different approach towards Erdogan and support the Turkish opposition.

Erdogan also wasn’t particularly quick to congratulate Biden on his 3 November election victory, as Ankara was mindful of its warm relations with the Trump administration. The Turkish president was one the last world leaders to do so, in a message sent in November.

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Both Biden’s transition team and the Turkish presidency have avoided giving MEE direct answers to queries on the issue.

A spokesperson for Biden said that his team would continue to read out any congratulatory calls the president-elect takes part in. “Beyond that we’ll decline to comment,” the spokesperson said.

Read more: Middle East Eye