It has been confirmed that the Ottoman Empire did give aid to the Irish people during the Great Famine.
A copy of a letter is on display at the European Commission office in Dawson Street Dublin, which is signed by the Anglo Irish gentry of the time, thanks Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a donation £1,000 to the people of Ireland in 1847.
President Mary McAleese addressed guests a Turkish State dinner last year and said that the Irish town of Drogheda had adopted the Star & Crescent as their emblem in gratitude to the people of Turkey who donated three ships full of food to the town during the Famine.
The remarks were subsequently dismissed by the Drogheda Historical society, who said there was no record of the ships docking in the Irish port.
The society's statement has divided the historical community in Drogheda, the majority of the people in the town have been brought up on the belief that the town was aided by the Turks during the Famine.
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.”
Cenziger said that research is being carried out to determine whether or not the Turks actually sent aid to Drogheda.
The letter will be on display in the EC office until June 4th.
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned