Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has interjected in the ongoing feud between U.S. President-imposed Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, slamming Biden’s description of Putin as a “killer”.
During a press conference in the Turkish capital, Istanbul, Erdogan harshly criticized Biden’s description of Vladimir Putin as a “killer”. “Mr. Biden’s statements about Mr. Putin are not fitting of a president, and a president coming out and using such remarks against the president of a country like Russia is truly unacceptable, not something that can be stomached,” Erdogan declared, according to Reuters.
U.S.-Turkey relations flourished under President Donald Trump, particularly after Trump withdrew U.S. troops from breakaway Kurdish-controlled territories in Syria. The strong personal relationship between Trump and Erdogan enabled Trump to secure the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson. Biden has sought to deteriorate ties with the country after Turkey attempted to purchase an anti-aircraft missile system from Russia.
After the 2020 presidential election, Erdogan sent a thank you letter to Trump for his efforts to improve the relationship between the two countries. “No matter how the official election result is certified, I am grateful for your sincere and determined vision for the development of the Turkey-U.S. relations on the basis of our mutual interests and shared values over the course of your four-year presidential term,” Erdogan wrote.
“Keeping in mind that our respective interests require the further improvement of the historical friendship, partnership and alliance between our nations on that sound basis, I wish to assure you that, moving forward, Turkey will make every effort towards that goal. On this occasion, I would like to sincerely thank you once again for your ever warm friendship and offer my most sincere wish for the peace and well-being of the people of the United States of America.”
Erdogan and Putin have had a mixed relationship, which was complicated after Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian plane in the Turkey-Syria border region in 2015. However, in recent years, Erdogan and Putin have collaborated extensively on peace initiatives in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the TurkStream natural gas pipeline, which carries Russian gas through Turkey and into the Balkans. Both Erdogan and Putin share a conservative-nationalist vision that emphasizes strength, and have little respect for the passive, liberal agenda of the Biden administration.