The Turkish invasion will be tweeted

The Great Siege documented ‘live’ on Twitter and Facebook as part of the promo blitz for an upcoming TVM documentary 

Trending: Jean De La Valette
Trending: Jean De La Valette

A TVM initiative takes a quirky look at one of the most celebrated events in Maltese history, as the Twitter account The Siege of 1565 (@1565tvm) and its Facebook counterpart documents the 1565 Siege of Malta as if it’s happening right now, with accompanying images and hashtags. 

Interspersing strategic factoids with bite-sized comments on key personalities in the Siege, the social media accounts will presumably continue to run up until 18 May – the 450th anniversary of the Siege. But apart from commemorating the Siege in the digital realm, these social media accounts are actually part of an ongoing promotional campaign towards a TVM documentary on the Great Siege, to be shown on TVM in the coming months. 

‘Spies based in #Constantinople inform GM #delaValette of #Ottoman preps for a massive fleet to set sail in spring’, a 2 March tweet informs us, while we also get a glimpse of the financial burden that the Siege may have had on the Knights: ‘The #Knights feel the pinch: not enough income to finance the mercenaries needed to defend #Malta in case of #siege’. 


Some tweets prompt visitors to engage in historical speculation, such as the one accompanying a skull-and-bones encrusted catacomb, which reads, ‘Bet 1540s and 1565 d Turks were regular visitors of Malta & Gozo. Were these the victims of a raid on Żejtun in 1614?’

The programme forms part of a cluster of events leading up to the 450th anniversary of the Great Siege of Malta. Arts Council Malta and Heritage Malta have announced their own Siege-themed collaborative events earlier this week, which will be starting in May. 

After several months of continuous battle between the invading Ottoman forces and the Knights of Malta, the fighting came to an end on 8 September, a date that continues to be commemorated with the annual public holiday Il-Vitorja. The dramatic unfolding of the Siege had a substantial effect on the continent, leading to the founding of Valletta a year later.