The Secretary General of TÜRKSOY Visiting Hungary

At the invitation of the Representation Office of the Organization of the Turkic States (OTS) in Budapest, Sultan Raev, the Secretary General of the International Organization of Turkic Culture (TÜRKSOY) has been paying a five-day visit to Hungary. During the first day of his visit, the Secretary General was received on Boat A38 by Ministerial Commissioner Szilárd Demeter, the Director of the Literary Museum of Petőfi, as well as the President of the Foundation of Hungarian Culture. The Sides exchanged their views – among others – on their cooperation in the bicentenary of the birth of the poet Sándor Petőfi. During his program, Sultan Raev was also received by János Csák, Minister for Culture and Innovation.

The following dignitaries participated in the above meeting: H.E. Ambassador János Hóvári, the Executive Head of the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States in Budapest, Gábor Csaba, the Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation, as well as the leaders of the Foundation of Hungarian Culture, CEO János Lóczi, and his deputies, Dániel Levente Pál and Adél Dénes.

Sultan Raev, who was appointed as the new Secretary General of TÜRKSOY this March, was formerly the advisor to the President of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, as well as the Minister for Culture and Information. Besides taking care of his official duties, Sultan Raev is one of the most well-known authors in Kyrgyzstan – a great number of his works have been put to the stage and the movie screen. The bringing of various cultures closer to one another has always been close to his heart, and this is the spirit in which he paid a visit to Hungary. During the discussion, the Secretary General pointed out that during the Soviet times, still in Russian translation but later in Kyrgyz, he had been reading poems by Sándor Petőfi. For this reason, he regards the Memorial Year dedicated to the Hungarian poet extremely important, especially because the famous poet is well-known, respected and loved in the Turkic world. In harmony with this, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth, a Memorial Forum will be held in Istanbul. As the Head of TÜRKSOY, the Secretary General would like to have all Turkic states hold a memorial event dedicated to the poet of the War of Independence of 1848–1849. They would also like to bring the art of Petőfi closer to the young people, using the various online platforms of the social media. Next year a memorial medal will also be issued which will be awarded to people who play an active role in building the cultural relations between Hungary and the Turkic nations.

During the discussion, Szilárd Demeter offered that next year they would receive one student from each Turkic state for a creative scholarship, who will also be given the opportunity to study the Hungarian language. At the same time, he called the attention to the Hungarian Writers in Residence Program which is offering accommodation for intense creation to writers and poets from Hungary and abroad already in eight towns. In connection with the Memorial Year, they would like to invite as many writers and translators to Hungary as possible, among others, to the International Cultural Festival PesText held in September each year. On the basis of the collection of Béla Bartók in Anatolia, a fictional documentary is also going to be shot which is expected to be shown already next spring.

As part of his program, Sultan Raev paid a visit to the House of Traditions as well, where he held consultations with Miklós Both. The Director General briefed his guest on the activities of the House of Traditions. He stressed that their mission is to collect the culture of peoples and villages, as well as to do the scientific work that is related to this. Miklós Both said that the House of Traditions would like to rely on the assistance of TÜRKSOY, its international relations, as well as the expertise that the organizations and its member states possess.

Sultan Raev stated that the thirteen member countries of TURKSOY are able to support the House in this work, and will be pleased to participate in the joint programs. After the discussion, the musical album with the title Voices from Turkestan was presented, and the following day at the Headquarters of the Academy of Sciences of Hungary the volume The Biographical Encyclopedia of Hungarian Turkologists was officially launched.

During his trip to Hungary, the Secretary General of TÜRKSOY paid a visit to Veszprém too where he held negotiations with Mayor Gyula Porga on the opportunities for cooperation in connection with the series of programs of Cultural Capital 2023.

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