Erdogan calls for strengthening Turkish-Hungarian ties

Hungary’s government is “one of the most stable” cabinets in Europe, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a Hungarian-Turkish business forum in Budapest on Tuesday.

The forum, organised by the National Trading House of Hungary, was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In his address, Orban praised Turkey for having a stable governmental system and a “leader with a strong legitimacy”, and voiced hope that a “cooperation between stable governments will lead to success”. Concerning the Hungarian economy, Orban called for “radical improvements” in terms of the country’s competitiveness and said that the government would soon adopt an action plan to that end.

On another subject, Orban said that the Western world was dominated by “a sense of uncertainty” which was “trying” for politicians and the business community and insisted that “everybody in Europe wants security and predictability”. The Hungarian government, he said, seeks to ensure those two conditions through applying a model based on job creation, tax cuts and pay hikes. He added that Hungary had a stable economic growth and full employment was very close.

Referring Turkish businesses in Hungary, Orban said that they provided jobs to over 1,000 people, while 8 major projects with Turkish involvement were being negotiated. Those projects could result in investment totalling 500 million dollars, he added. Orban also announced that Hungary would offer 150 scholarships to Turkish students. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at the forum that Turkey was Hungary’s “number one” trading partner in its region and noted a record turnover in bilateral trade last year.

In his address to the forum, Erdogan called for strengthening Turkish-Hungarian ties. Relations are already robust, he said, thanking Hungary for “tending carefully to the countries’ shared historic heritage”. He pledged to support raising trade relations to a higher level. He cited tourism, transport and local projects in Africa as areas of cooperation. Trade between Hungary and Turkey reached 2.6 billion dollars in 2017, he said, and reached 1.8 billion already in 2018, representing 8 percent annual increase. The aim is to raise annual trade to 6 billion dollars, he noted. The education, construction and energy sectors are promising areas of cooperation, and it should also be strengthened between financial institutions, he said.

Orban, Erdogan inaugurate renovated Turkish tomb

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday inaugurated the renovated 16th century tomb of Gul Baba, a dervish, a poet and soldier sent to Buda in 1541 by Sultan Suleiman.

Gul Baba was born in a “gallant era when the great sons of our nations fought each other”, Orban said. The heroism of those “battles with changing outcomes should remind us of the greatness of our nations,” Orban said. Hungarian memorials are well cared for in Turkey, and Hungary wishes to return the favour by renovating the tomb in Budapest, he said. Erdogan pledged to take steps to strengthen Turkish-Hungarian friendship in culture and economy.

The Ottoman Empire occupied Hungary between 1526-1686, leaving a lasting linguistic, cultural and architectural impact. The Castle of Buda was freed from Ottoman rule in 1686 and the tomb of Gul Baba was used as a Jesuit chapel until the 20th century. In 1987, the Hungarian government financed the building of an Islamic Centre and Mosque in the area.

Source and photo: MTI

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