Drogheda Independent

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Turkish sultan's donation of food to Ireland during the Famine the subject of movie

FILMING of Famine, a movie based on events surrounding a Turkish sultan's donation of food during the Great Hunger will start in Drogheda in July, according to the movie's project manager, Omer Sarikaya.

The Turkish Department of Culture in Ankara is considering funding the project and the film-maker is confident that the money will be in place by the summer.

In 1847, during the Famine, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who had an Irish doctor, contacted Queen Victoria to offer £10,000 to help Ireland. He says the queen 'only allowed the Sultan to send £1,000 as she had only sent £2,000.

' The Sultan did as he was told but also 'in secret sent over five ships of food and supplies to help the people of Ireland,' according to the movie plot.

According to Omer, the 'people of Drogheda acknowledged Turkey's help and a plaque was placed to thank the people of Turkey'.

His film tells this story but the dramatisation around it includes love, betrayal, deceit, jealousy and murder.

It is a story of two countries coming together during sadness and a love affair between two people from Ireland and Turkey ' who although do not speak each others language but are able to love and communicate' through words, pictures and feelings.

'We currently have a full sypnosis of the film and a detailed account of each of the scenes. So far any of the chosen people we have asked to read it have become totally enthralled into the story line and the characters and have felt the emotion as the story leads to a fatal ending.'

He plans to audition in May in Dublin and and filming will starting in Drogheda in July.

The film is likely to add to the great debate on the subject of the Turkish ships and if they came up the Boyne, as some claim.