Read the Turkish original here. The text has been edited editorially for the German version.
Usually, Turks are proud when someone from the family somewhere, and their kinship degree is still so remote, can perform an important task. But now that Boris Johnson, who after all has "Istanbul roots," has been crowned British Prime Minister, there was little joy in Turkey, and for two reasons. First, three years ago, Johnson won the "Erdoğan Shameless Poetry" competition in the British newspaper The Spectator, which was announced in protest because Merkel had allowed the prosecution of satirist Jan Böhmermann for his obtrusive poem on Erdoğan.
Secondly, Johnson's great-grandfather Ali Kemal, who held the posts of Minister of Education and the Interior in the Ottoman government, enjoys a bad reputation. In Turkey, "Ali Kemal" has been cursing all those accused of treason. Kemal, who was not only a politician, but also a highly educated journalist, led a colorful life in Aleppo, Paris, Geneva and Cairo. He railed against the liberation war and demanded in his articles the death sentence for Mustafa Kemal. When the liberation struggle was victorious and Mustafa Kemal established today's Turkey, Johnson's great-grandfather suddenly changed his mind and welcomed the triumph as a "festival of the Turks". But too late. After his arrest in 1922, he was left to a furious mob who killed him and hung his body visible from afar. Some historians see out-of-court execution as a "bloodstain of republican creation," while others see it as a "deterrent to potential traitors."
Ali Kemal was married twice, the son of his second wife, a Turkish woman, became a diplomat. In 1978, when the Asala, an underground organization of Marxist-Leninist Armenians, made an attack on the Turkish Embassy, he was injured and his wife was killed. The son of Ali Kemal's first marriage to an Englishwoman married a Briton again. They became Boris Johnson's grandparents.
Johnson has been to Turkey a few times, meeting relatives, and studying the papers his great-grandfather had written for. His conclusion was: "Ali Kemal was wrong." When Johnson became prime minister last week, a Turkish newspaper headlined: "He is Turk, but none of us."
The moment is eagerly awaited when the new British Prime Minister Johnson meets Erdoğan, about whom he had written his obscene Limerick.
From the Turkish by Sabine Adatepe