The Ottoman Empire and the emergence of its ‘Irish Question’

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The Ottoman Empire and Ireland seem an unlikely pair in every respect. In the secondary literature, the paths of the two countries never converge. Except for Sultan Abdülmecid’s famous aid during the Famine, there has been virtually no discussion of the relationship between the two countries. By using the accounts of Ottoman authors and through a careful reading of archival materials from different eras, this article analyses the Ottoman perceptions of Ireland from the early modern era to the twentieth century. These documents and testimonies suggest that there was considerable interest in Ireland among Ottoman intellectuals and statesmen. They saw the country as some sort of anomaly which could be possibly useful in their dealings with Britain. For that reason, they diligently followed the developments taking place in Ireland. The case study developed in this article demonstrates first the importance of Ottoman archival materials for the purposes of comparative history; second the vibrant interest of the Ottoman Empire in the outside world in general and in Ireland in particular.




Şiviloğlu, M. R. (2022). The Ottoman Empire and the emergence of its ‘Irish Question.’ Middle Eastern Studies.

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