President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has preferred to remain silent as world leaders conveyed congratulatory messages to Joe Biden for his victory in the U.S. presidential elections.
While no statement or congratulatory messages were released following Biden's win, Ankara was engaging in phone diplomacy with Russian officials reportedly on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh around the same time.
Ankara's silence brings to mind the rift between the president-elect and Turkey.
Tensions between Biden and Ankara rose in August after the former's remarks on backing Turkish opposition.
Biden's comments to New York Times editors, where he advocated a new U.S. approach to "autocrat" Erdoğan and support for opposition parties, resurfaced in a video that made him the most popular topic on Twitter in Turkey on Aug. 15.
Biden says in the video recorded on Dec. 16 2019 - before he emerged as the Democratic candidate - that he is "very concerned" about Erdoğan's approach to Kurds in Turkey, his partial military cooperation with Russia, and access to U.S. airfields in the country, a NATO ally.
"What I think we should be doing is taking a very different approach to him now, making it clear that we support opposition leadership," Biden said in the video.
His remarks drew ire at the time, with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials lining up to condemn Biden.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said at the time that his comments "reflect games and an interventionist approach towards Turkey" and are inconsistent with current diplomatic relations.
"We believe that these unbecoming statements which have no place in diplomacy by a presidential candidate from our NATO ally, the United States, are unacceptable to the current administration too," Altun said.
US Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s remarks (made in December but reported by the media today) reflect the games being played over Turkey and their interventionist attitudes. These remarks are not in line with democracy and the nature of Turkish-American relations.— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) August 15, 2020
Another high-level official to slam Biden was Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, who said that his remarks are based on "pure ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy."
"The analysis of Turkey by Joe Biden is based on pure ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy. The days of ordering Turkey around are over. But if you still think you can try, be our guest," Kalın said in a tweet on Aug. 16.
"You will pay the price," he added.
The analysis of Turkey by @JoeBiden is based on pure ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy.— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) August 16, 2020
The days of ordering Turkey around are over.
But if you still think you can try, be our guest.
You will pay the price.
While Trump and Erdoğan spoke regularly, diplomatic relations have been strained over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, policy in Syria and over U.S. charges against Turkish state bank Halkbank for helping Iran evade sanctions.
More recently, Biden urged Ankara to reverse its decision on converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque.Turkey's ruling party, opposition politicians slam Joe Biden's past call for US to back Erdoğan opponents
On Nov. 6, before the election results were revealed, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey had worked with Democrat and Republican administrations alike and overcome difficulties with both.
“Regardless of which candidate takes office in the U.S., we will pursue a sincere approach to improve our relations,” Çavuşoğlu said.
“Of course, individuals have an impact, positive and negative. The sincere friendship between our president and Mr. Trump continued through the most difficult times,” he added.