Members of the Maltese community in Istanbul Maltese descendants and holders of Maltese and Turkish nationalities celebrated the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady at Malta’s consulate general.

Consul General Reuben Gauci, said Malta and Turkey enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations following Malta’s independence and many Maltese had visited Turkey and even chose to live there.

He mentioned Maltese painter Amadeo Preziosi, who migrated to Istanbul in 1842 and lived there for the rest of his life, painting the city and Ottoman life, and Maltese writer and scholar Manuel Magri, who lived and taught in Istanbul in the late 19th century, even taking his vows as a Jesuit there.

Gauci added that the Maltese celebrated the end of two great sieges – one against the Ottoman forces and much later against the Axis powers. He said the Ottoman empire had nonetheless left an important mark on Mediterranean history, being inclusive of a number of faiths and having hosted the Jewish communities who were banished from the Spanish empire in 1492.

The reception took place at the Little Sisters of the Poor home for the elderly in Sisli Bomonti, Istanbul.

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