An executive from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has claimed that US President Joe Biden has Kurdish roots, leading to jokes and ridicule among social media users in Turkey.
Orhan Miroğlu, a member of the AKP’s Central Decision and Management Board (MKYK) and a former deputy from Mardin of Kurdish descent, on Thursday claimed on social media that Biden’s ancestors were of Kurdish origin and that they migrated to the US from Armenia.
“A Kurdish friend of mine recently said, and I found it hard to believe but, someone told him that Biden’s real name was Cımoyê Bahattîn Ağa and that he is originally from the Bıruki tribe, with ancestors who migrated from [Armenia’s capital of] Yerevan to the United States,” Miroğlu said in a tweet.
Hundreds of social media users commented on Miroğlu’s claim on Twitter, with one user asking, “He’s joking, right?”
“That claim is right, and I also heard that he [Biden] supports the HDP [pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party],” another Twitter user sarcastically said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP government accuse the HDP of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a militant group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union that took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. The HDP denies such links.
“This looks like one of those situations where a person wins the lottery and relatives he never knew existed start calling [to ask for money],” another user tweeted.
Many users also brought to mind a claim previously put forward by Kadir Mısıroğlu, a self-proclaimed Turkish historian and a radical xenophobe known to have close ties to Erdoğan, that Shakespeare was not English.
Mısıroğlu claimed back in 2016 that Shakespeare’s original name was “Sheikh Pir” and that he was a secret Muslim. “Sheikh” means Islamic scholar and “pir” means “old, elderly,” he explained during a program on the pro-government Beyaz TV.