Ottoman aid to the Irish during the Great Famine

During the Great Famine in Ireland,160 years ago, the Ottoman Empire sent £1,000 sterling - equal to $1,052,000 today - and 3 shiploads of food to Drogheda, Ireland

Ottoman aid to the Irish during the Great Famine

World Bulletin / News Desk

It is a little known story but the tragedy of the Great Famine was alleviated somewhat by the generosity of the Ottoman Ruler at the time Sultan Khaleefah Abdul-Majid who declared his intention to send £10,000 sterling to Irish farmers.


Queen Victoria requested that the Sultan send only £1,000 sterling, because she had sent only £2,000 sterling herself. The Sultan sent the £1,000 sterling but without her knowledge secretly sent 3 ships full of food. The British administration tried to block the ships, but the food arrived secretly at Drogheda harbour.

Despite claims that this was not true, a copy of a letter was on display at the European Commission office in Dawson Street Dublin until June 4, which was also signed by the Anglo Irish gentry of the time, thanking the Sultan for the donation in 1847.

The Turkish ambassador to Ireland, Altay Cenziger said, "This is proof that the people of Turkey assisted the Irish during the Famine. The money sent to Ireland was sufficient to send 250 people to America.”

The Irish town of Drogheda had adopted the Ottoman crescent and start as its coat of arms in gratitude and remains the football club’s emblem till this day.

This generous charity from a Muslim ruler to a Christian nation is incredibly important, particularly in our time when Muslims are the targets of human rights violations. Likewise, the appreciative plaque and overall reaction of the Irish society in return for this charity deserves to be applauded. 

This little-known story of how Turkey was one of the only countries to come to aid Ireland during the Great Famine will be the focus of a new movie, “Famine.”-

The movie is scheduled for release in 2016 and is written and directed by Omer Sarikaya who  fell in love with the story, which also happened to be mentioned by Joyce in "Ulysses," "Even the Grand Turk sent us his piastres. But the Sassenach tried to starve the nation at home while the land was full of crops that the British hyenas bought and sold in Rio de Janeiro."

Sarikaya spent two years researching the story and was determined to bring it to the big screen. It was a true passion project for Sarikaya, who also announced that most of the profits from the movie will be donated to UNICEF.

Source: ArchiveIslam/IrishCentral


Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Temmuz 2016, 11:04