Boris Johnson awkwardly shaking off the Turkish president has become an instant meme

Boris Johnson awkwardly shaking off the Turkish president has become an instant meme
Boris Johnson is greeted by Turkish president in Madrid

First Boris Johnson was ambushed by a cake, now he appears to have been caught off-guard by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the latest Nato summit in Madrid.

Sitting at a table perusing some documents, Mr Johnson was alerted to President Erdoğan’s presence when he placed a hand on his left shoulder, and leaving it there as the PM rose out of his seat.

In the awkward video, the Conservative leader then shuffles out of his grasp and brushes President Erdoğan’s hand off his shoulder before saying hello to his “friend”.

We’re not sure if the Turkish politician feels the same way, though, seeing as Mr Johnson won a poetry competition in 2016 in which he branded a “young fellow from Ankara” a “w*****er”.

The prime minister made the wise decision of choosing not to mention this in his tweet about the meeting, instead writing that he had “good discussions” with President Erdoğan and welcomes “Türkiye’s agreement with Sweden and Finland, paving the way for their accession to Nato”.

“I’m grateful for the president’s leadership on getting grain out of Ukraine – a crisis that’s having global repercussions,” he added.

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Though of course, Twitter didn’t care about the diplomatic discussions between the two politicians, instead taking an interest in President Erdoğan’s jumpscare and the meme potential:

And it wasn’t the only cringe-inducing interaction between President Erdogan and Mr Johnson, as the former reportedly said “this man is embarrassing us” whilst pointing at the latter.

US president Joe Biden could then be seen batting away the hand of the PM – who has a Turkish great-grandfather – as Mr Johnson responded with “çok guzel”, meaning “very good” or “very nice”.


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