Boris Johnson's 'Muslim great-grandfather' was brutally murdered
Boris Johnson's 'Muslim great-gr
Boris Johnson's 'Muslim great-grandfather' was an Ottoman journalist, poet and liberal politician who was brutally murdered by a lynch mob as he faced a treason charge
- Mr Johnson referred to great grandfather as he faced Islamophobia accusation
- Reference was to Ali Kemal, a prominent figure during fall of Ottoman Empire
- Kemal was killed by a lynch mob in 1922 after being kidnapped in Istanbul
Boris Johnson's paternal great grandfather was a journalist and liberal politician who was killed after being kidnapped on a charge of treason as the Ottoman Empire entered its final days.
Mr Johnson referred to his 'Muslim great grandfather' during yesterday's televised Tory leadership debate as he defended himself against accusations of Islamophobia.
The reference may well have surprised many viewers unaware of Mr Johnson's lineage but the true extent of his family's links to modern-day Turkey was revealed in depth in 2008.
The Tory heavyweight took part in the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? Programme which shed light on exactly where Mr Johnson had come from.
Ali Kemal, Mr Johnson's great grandfather, was born in Constantinople, now Istanbul, in 1867. He was a prominent journalist, poet and politician who became known for his strong liberal democratic political views.
But such views saw him exiled under Abdul Hamid II, the 34th Sultan, who reigned from 1876 to 1909.
Ali Kemal was a prominent figure in the Ottoman Empire at the start of the 20th Century. A prominent journalist, poet and politician he met a grisly end in 1922 as he was lynched by a mob
Boris Johnson (pictured leaving his London home today) referred to his 'Muslim great grandfather' during a Tory leadership debate as he responded to accusations of Islamophobia
Increasing instability within the Empire in the years before the First World War prompted Kemal to flee for his life to England where his wife Winifred gave birth to a son, Osman Wilfred Kemal, in Bournemouth, with the pair having already had a daughter called Selma.
His wife died after giving birth and Kemal then stayed with his mother in law, Margaret Brun, whose maiden name was Johnson.
He subsequently returned to the Ottoman Empire where he remarried and had another son.
It was then that he rose to great political prominence as he became Minister for the Interior in 1919 in the government of Damat Ferid Pasha, who at the time was the de facto prime minister.
However, Kemal only held the job for three months before reportedly resigning.
His life was then brought to a grisly end in 1922 as he was kidnapped from a barber shop in Istanbul in November and was to face a charge of treason.
Ali Kemal (pictured with his first wife Winifred) fled to England in the years before the First World War. The pair had a son called Osman who is the father of Stanley Johnson
Stanley Johnson, born in 1940, has been a vocal advocate for his son's Tory leadership bid
He was due to be taken to Ankara for trial but on the way the group was attacked by a mob and he was lynched and stoned to death as the Turkish War of Independence raged.
His son and daughter, who remained living in London, took the name Johnson, potentially to avoid being bullied at school.
His son Osman also switched his first and middle names so that he became known as Wilfred Johnson.
Wilfred would marry Irene Williams and the pair had a son: Stanley Johnson, Boris's father, who was born in 1940.
The Tory leadership favourite remarked in the BBC show that he was of a 'completely mongrel composition', according to The Telegraph.
'It is interesting to look at how British I can feel and yet, actually, what a completely mongrel composition I really am,' he said.
'What it really teaches me is that our genes pulse down our lives and we don't really know where they have come from and where they are going.'
The programme also revealed that Mr Johnson is a very distant relative of the Queen.
His paternal grandmother was a descendent of German aristocrat Prince Paul Von Wurttemberg who was linked to King George II.
Mr Johnson was shocked by the revelation and said at the time: 'If you had told me that I was related to George II, I would have thought you were absolutely crackers.'