‘RHONJ’: Jennifer Aydin Sets the Record Straight on Her Turkish/Armenian Heritage and Why Khloe Kardashian Liked Her Photo

The Real Housewives of New Jersey is one of Bravo’s most popular reality shows and a valued part of the infamous Real Housewives media franchise. Among the larger-than-life personalities is Jennifer Aydin. A relatively recent addition to the series, the Long Island native has already made her mark, with many fans calling for her to star in her own spinoff series.

Aydin has been the subject of a few social media scandals in recent months. This includes getting mixed up with Khloe Kardashian after an innocent Instagram post prompted outrage.

Khloe Kardashian liked one of Jennifer Aydin’s Instagram posts

In late August 2021, Jennifer Aydin took to Instagram to share a sweet snapshot featuring her husband. “Pick the guy who’d rather look at you ‘Smile for my picture, Honey!’ Happy Saturday Night…at home,” she captioned the post, tagging her husband’s business Instagram account.

Among the flurry of fans who raved about how good the couple looked in the photo, a few tweeted that Khloe Kardashian liked the post, as well as Aydin’s corresponding Twitter post. It rubbed some fans the wrong way for a subtle reason involving both reality stars’ cultural backgrounds.

In fact, the outcry was apparently so intense that Aydin chose to address it in her own way. She took to Instagram to tackle the controversy head-on.

Aydin defends Kardashian’s ‘like’ and her Turkish-Armenian heritage

Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jennifer Aydin donates PPE equipment to a hospital in May 2020
Jennifer Aydin of the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ | Cindy Ord/GC Images

Just days after Aydin’s original post, the reality star reposted an image from a Bravo fan account on her Instagram. It recapped the drama, noting that fans thought it was “awkward” that Kardashian liked one of Aydin’s photos, considering that Aydin has “Turkish” heritage while Kardashian comes from Armenian descent, and the historical conflict between the two areas of the world has been intense.

However, the photo’s caption noted that, in fact, Aydin’s second great-uncle was beatified for his martyrdom during the Armenian Genocide. So, Aydin has ties to both Turkey and Armenia. The RHONJ star herself expanded on the photo by introducing her late uncle:

“People get confused when I say I’m Turkish. It’s where both my parents were born, it’s the language we speak so I identify with it the easiest. It’s not about religion. It’s about my heritage.  I’ve always been proud of every part of my heritage that has made me who I am, Turkish, Armenian, Syrian Orthodox.” Aydin ended her lengthy caption by noting “I am very proud of my Uncle. May He Rest In Peace…And Yes- I am over the moon excited that Khloe Kardashian liked one of my pictures!!”

Aydin also tagged the fan account and Kardashian herself in the post. 

‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ cast members have opened up about their backgrounds in the past

Other RHONJ cast members discuss their heritage and faith, too. Co-star Melissa Gorga might have been born and raised in New Jersey, but she is of Italian descent. Her fan-favorite husband, Joe Gorga, is too. The reality star frequently shares tidbits about her heritage on social media and loves classic Italian desserts and meals. 

Cast member Jackie Goldschneider isn’t averse to chatting about her Jewish faith on-camera, even when it lands her in hot water. During Season 10, she claimed that “Jewish girls” don’t perform certain sexual acts, as Bravo reports.

Certainly, none of the RHONJ housewives in the franchise are shrinking violets. If Aydin’s social media defense is any indication, things won’t slow down for Bravo’s New Jersey cast anytime soon.

RELATED: ‘RHONJ’: What Is Jennifer Aydin’s Net Worth?