Boris Johnson's 'Muslim great-grandfather' was brutally murdered as he faced a ...

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 

By Jack Maidment, Deputy Political Editor For Mailonline

Published: 16:22 BST, 19 June 2019 | Updated: 08:53 BST, 20 June 2019

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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

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

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

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