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Ottoman humanitarian aid to the Irish gripped by famine

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It is rumored that the Turkish poet and diplomat Yahya Kemal Beyatlı marveled at the support of an Irish delegate toward the Turkish delegation in comparison to the negative attitude displayed by the European delegates during the 1923 Lausanne Treaty negotiations. He later got the chance to ask the Irish delegate the reason behind his support. "Every Irishman like me is obliged to do it. We did not see any aid and support from other Europeans when we suffered from hunger and famine, struggling with death. But your ancestors sent us both money and ships of food. On this count, a large number of Irish people survived. We can never forget the humane hand reaching out to us in those tough days," the Irish delegate responded.

Bitter memories

In Ireland, where the majority of people were Catholic, all of the land was in the hands of about 10,000 British landlords, many of whom lived in Britain during those years. These holdings were rented to 600,000 Irish farmers. Since population density was high, rents were high, as well. Most of the crop was transported to England. In 1845, 1 million tons of grain and 258,000 sheep were exported to England. Small pieces of land were rented to workers for small wages. Up to 4 million farmers and workers were raising potatoes, which were the only food source for their livelihood.

In 1845, Ireland was suffering from a great famine, as were many European countries. The famine, also known as the Potato Famine, is one of........

© Daily Sabah