The Maltese Consulate
General based in Istanbul recently organised a get-together for the small
Maltese community in Izmir.
This community consists of descendants
of a much larger Maltese community that thrived in Izmir during the 19th
Century. They formed part of a wider Latin Catholic community known as the
Levantines, who lived under the Ottoman Empire.
Mr Franklin Aquilina,
Consul General of Malta in Istanbul, passed on personal regards from H.E. the President
Marie Louise Coleiro-Preca and expressed his gratitude for all present. He said
that although not born in Malta, they all form an integral part of the Maltese
diaspora. Even though being a tiny community in Izmir, they are a living
testimony to the large, diverse and remarkable diaspora history of the Maltese
Mr Aquilina also reminded
all present that there is a specific Directorate within the Ministry for
Foreign Affairs, which serves as a direct link between the Maltese diaspora and
the authorities in Malta.
The gathering was held at
the Santa Maria Church, situated in the area where once the Maltese quarters in
Izmir thrived. It was made possible with the kind assistance of Malta’s
Honorary Consul in Izmir, Dr Ahmet Calik, Mr Christopher Tonna, himself part of
the Maltese community of Izmir and the support of Turkish Airlines.