Turkey’s Erdoğan congratulates Biden on election win

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday became the latest world leader to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Reuters reported.

Erdoğan said in a statement that the Turkish government is “determin[ed] to work closely with the U.S. Administration” in the days ahead, according to the news service.

Biden has been a frequent critic of the Turkish president, calling him an “autocrat” and telling The New York Times editorial board that, as president, he would back opposition leadership “by the electoral process.”

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the opposition Republican People’s Party, was the first Turkish political figure to offer Biden his congratulations.

“I would like to congratulate Joe Biden for his election as the 46th President of the United States of America and Kamala Harris as Vice-President. I look forward to strengthening Turkish – American relations and our strategic alliance,” he tweeted Saturday after Biden was declared the winner of the race for the White House.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay told a local broadcaster “nothing will change for Turkey” as a result of the U.S. election, adding “the channels of communication will work as before, but of course there will be a transition period,” according to Haaretz.

While most major world leaders have congratulated Biden and Harris, a handful who are close to President Trump and have been described as autocrats or strongmen have yet to acknowledge the win, including Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador also said he would wait until the Trump team’s long shot legal challenges were resolved to acknowledge the Biden victory.

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