Biden’s Erdoğan call becomes a betting matter for Turkish users
Turkish users have begun to take online bets on when the new U.S. President Joe Biden will call his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Users of the online gambling site Hooliganbet found the topic of whether or not Biden will actually call his Turkish counterpart to have enough uncertainty that they figured why not make some money off it?
Since Sunday, the option has remained open and may for some time. Biden, who entered office last Wednesday, was known to have failed in speaking to Erdoğan during the transition period. Erdoğan, who refused to congratulate Biden right after he was declared the election’s winner in November, is now in a category of leaders who the new U.S. president also has not called like Russia’s Vladimir Putin (who takes Erdogan's calls regularly).
There was no need for such a betting market when President Donald Trump was in office. CNN previously reported Erdoğan found no trouble at all reaching Trump and not just because the U.S-Turkey relationship was constantly spinning from crisis to crisis during the latter’s four years in office.
“By far the greatest number of Trump's telephone discussions with an individual head of state were with Erdogan, who sometimes phoned the White House at least twice a week and was put through directly to the President on standing orders from Trump,” reported CNN in June 2020. The network’s sources added that Trump’s aides found his calls with Erdogan particularly “egregious” given his lack of preparation for them at all.
Biden has made it a point to redirect relations with Turkey away from himself, namely by regrounding bilateral ties on an institution to institution level found in previous years. There has been no open display of schadenfreude in Biden neglecting to call Erdogan, the damage from his cozy relationship with Trump may be more than lingering in the mind of the new administration.
After Biden’s remarks last January about Erdogan being an “autocrat” and his pledge to work with his opposition, Erdogan lamented how they once “had a friendship. We had conversations, we had drunk tea together.” Even if he may have changed his tone by recalling more fondly their past relationship in his belated congratulations to Biden after his election victory, it's an open question whether or not Erdoğan will be sharing conversations over tea with his U.S counterpart any time soon. Biden so far spoke several foreign leaders already, including Canadian, Mexican, Brit as well as the leader of the NATO.
If there was not so much uncertainty, it would not exactly make for a good betting topic after-all.