The Ottoman Empire’s Aid to Ireland and the Shame of the British Queen Victoria

In 1845 Ireland had a great starvation. All that society ate was wild blackberries, moss, rotten cabbage leaves, roots they could find, and even dry germination.

The British opened so-called soup kitchens for charity, but only families of people working in road construction and other businesses could benefit from these. Then the British distributed the corn they brought from abroad and made cultivation work done. However, this help did not work because of the lack of suitable weather conditions.

Even though England was one of the richest nations in the world at that time, even Queen Victoria gave only 2,000 pounds to her Irish subjects.

Although no such request was made from him as a result of the events, the Ottoman sultan, Sultan Abdulmecid, decided to send 5,000 pounds of aid to Ireland in a period that we can call the period of the Ottoman disintegration.

This was a grand gesture that gave the Ottomans a worldwide reputation. Britain asked the Ottoman government to reduce the aid to its subjects, the Irish, to one thousand pounds, in order to preserve its reputation for providing only 2,000 pounds in aid.

Upon this, the sultan sent 3 sailing ships full of provisions, medicine and seeds in addition to a 1,000 pounds.

Ireland at that time was the colony of Great Britain. The British government did not allow the Ottoman aid ships to dock in the Dublin port. The ships then approached the port of Drogheda, 30 miles away. He lowered his load here.

The Irish sent a letter of thanks to the Ottoman against the aid. This letter is in the Ottoman archives. The Irish have never forgotten the aid.

The letter of thanks written by the Irish to the Ottoman Empire

The letter sent by the Irish people to the Ottoman Emperor Abdülmecid;

“Sultan Abdülmecid Han under the ownership of the Ottoman State;

We, the Royal Irish Families, Gentlemen and Residents, honor our deepest gratitude for the generous philanthropy and attention given by His Highness to the grieving Irish, and on their behalf, the generous £ 1,000 donations made by His Majesty. This donation will be used to meet the needs and pain of the Irish.

Please accept our thanks.”

The Consequences of the Great Famine

It ensured the establishment of strong ties between the Turkish people and the Irish people.

Famine marked a turning point in Irish history. The demographic, political and cultural landscape of the island has changed. The use of Irish has declined and the majority has begun to speak English, with the country divided into Unionists who advocate loyalty to Britain and Nationalists who advocate for independence.

As a result of the Great Famine, Irish nationalism was on the rise, and the Catholic people began to hate the Protestant royal family. All these opened the doors to the independence of the Republic of Ireland in the 20th century.

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