The office of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is "not thrilled" about the fact that U.S. President Joe Biden hasn't called him despite being in the office for nearly two months, a senior government official told the Associated Press.
In public statements, Turkish officials have played down the lack of a phone call from the White House, noting that conversations are happening at other levels. According to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, this is not the case.
Some in Turkey see the lack of a phone call as a worrying sign, the Associated Press said. Former President Donald Trump and Erdoğan spoke just days after the 2016 election.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki on March 5 said that Biden will call Erdoğan "at some point" without elaborating when this might occur.
"The President has many global leaders — world leaders he still needs to call, and he will venture to do that in the coming weeks and months," she said.
Biden spent the first month of his presidency making routine calls to world leaders, but for Erdoğan the call never came.
Tensions between Biden and Ankara rose in August of 2020 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, 2020.
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.
His remarks drew ire at the time, with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials lining up to condemn Biden.