A joint production of Turkish-Irish film sector will depict the story of the Ottoman Empire’s aid to Ireland during the great famine period in Ireland between 1845 and 1851. World-famous actors Sean Bean and Colin Farrell are in the cast of Famine.
Istanbul / NationalTurk – The most traumatic and sorrowful period in Ireland’s history, known as the Great Hunger and the great Famine will be brought into the silver screen, but this time it will tell the story of little-known aspect.
A new film at early production stage will depict the story of how the Ottoman Empire sent aid to the emerald isle in Ireland at great potato famine in 1845 which claimed nearly 1 million lives.
Ireland Turkey celebrate joint film production : Famine the Ottoman aid
‘Famine’ shooting is set to start in October and the film will be shot in Ireland and Turkey with a $50 million budget and its cast will include noted Irish actors like Sean Bean ( ok folks ..half-irish..Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings ), Colin Farrell ( Phone Booth, Alexander ) as well as several Turkish movie stars.
Famine which will tell Ottoman Empire’s aid to Ireland during the Great Famine is expected to be in theaters across the world sometime in 2013.
Ömer Sarıkaya, the film’s Turkish scriptwriter and project manager, stated that an agreement with the Independent Film Development Corporation (IFDC) had been signed to initiate the joint Irish-Turkish production.
Sarıkaya mentioned that as well as including worldwide well-known actors like Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan and Sean Bean along with renowned Turkish actors Burak Özçivit and Kenan İmirzalıoğlu would be cast in the film as well.
Famine will built on drama, courage, history and love
Famine ‘s screenplay details a love story between Fatih, an Ottoman sailor, and Mary, an Irish girl, during the Great famine and the period when Ottoman’s aid to Ireland arrived.
‘With Famine we aim to provide an insight on a lesser-known aspect of this dark and sad period in the world history. Mary will be played by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan while Fatih and Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid will be portrayed by Turkish aces Özçivit and İmirzalıoğlu, respectively,’ the screenwriter and project manager of Famine added.
The development of Famine ‘s production is also interseting. The idea came to Sarıkaya’s mind during his trip to Ireland. Sarıkaya decided to write the screenplay for the movie when four years ago, while he was preparing to head to Ireland. Sarıkaya noticed the northwestern city of Drogheda’s coat of arms included a crescent and star. His interest was piqued by an Irish city’s use of a Turkish national symbol, and so Sarıkaya set off for Drogheda, which lies 50 kilometers north of Dublin.
‘ I searched through the Irish and Turkish history archives, and I visited many libraries to finish the screenplay icnluding the Ottoman aid for Ireland during the Great Famine. I also added the love story of Fatih and Mary, he added. Love story can be cheap but if it can be processed properly it can enrich the film
Irish Great Famine and Ottoman Aid to Ireland
The Irish famine first began in 1845 due to blight on Ireland’s main source of food — the potato, and lasted until 1851, resulting in the deaths of a million people and the immigration of more than 2 million citizens. Ultimately, the famine caused Ireland’s population to drop from 8 million to 5 million.
Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid decided to send 10,000 pounds in aid to Ireland after being informed of how devastating the famine was in Ireland. However, Britain’s evil Queen Victoria replied, stating they would only accept a thousand pounds in aid. In response, Sultan Abdülmecid secretly sent five ships full of food, as well as cash, to Ireland in order to help the Irish, who were shunned by England, the evil of all.
Because the Ottoman ships could not approach Dublin’s port after their long journey to ıreland, they changed their course, bringing their food instead to the lovely seaside town of Drogheda. The Irish town of Drogheda had adopted the Star & Crescent as their emblem in gratitude to the people of Ottoman Empire who donated three ships full of food and coins to the town during the Great Famine also known as Great Hunger in Ireland.
With this generous act the Ottoman Empire gained the appreciation of the local public. The crescent and the star was later also adopted as the local football team’s, Grogheda United ‘s symbol, while a copy of a plaque of appreciation that was given to the Ottoman Empire was hung on the façade of a Drogheda hotel located on the city’s most important avenue.
An Irish letter of gratitude to Sultan Abdülmecid from Irish Noblemen during Great Hunger
In addition, Irish noblemen sent a letter of gratitude to Sultan Abdülmecid for the Ottoman State’s ruler’s efforts. The actual letter, which is now located in Topkapı Palace, reads ‘ We, the undersigned Irish noblemen, gentlemen and residents present our gratitude respectfully for the generosity, benevolence and concern and donation that is endowed by your majesty to the suffering Irish public to meet the needs of them and appease their sorrows.’
There is a historical bond between Ireland and Turkey which is rather unknown, Sarıkaya notes. He says ‘ Famine ‘ biggest aim was to promote the Ottomans’ tenderness and greatness to the globe and to reflect that Turkish people, the successors of the Ottomans, were not ‘ barbarians or invaders.’
‘ The movie will hit theaters in many countries, particularly in the United States, Turkey and Ireland, and will contribute to Turkey’s promotion to the world,’ he mentioned.
Famine project manager continued he would go to the USA to sign the final agreement with the IFDC and that the Irish culture minister Carál Ní Chuilín had given his full support for the joint Irish Turkis production ‘ Famine ‘ at a recent meeting in Ireland’s capital Dublin.