On March 16 Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó participated in the first ever extraordinary summit meeting of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Ankara. During the summit the Prime Minister of Hungary expressed his condolences to “our Turkish brothers” for the dreadful earthquake that recently struck Turkey.
The Head of the Government of Hungary expressed the condolences of our country for the tragic earthquake that hit Turkey a few weeks ago. He also highly appreciated the work of the people who demonstrated great courage in saving lives. The search and rescue teams of Hungary joined their Turkish counterparts already on the first day and managed to rescue a lot of people. The Prime Minister confirmed that on March 16 Hungary handed over 105 tons of medical instruments to the Disaster Management Authorities of Türkiye. He also indicated that Türkiye can rely on Hungary as far as reconstruction is concerned. He added that he could perceive the enormous progress that Türkiye has achieved during the past 21 years. It is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has played a key role in this and whom he first met in Budapest in February 2013. Prime Minister Orbán paid his first official visit to Ankara in 2000. It was then that he was convinced of the strength resting in the society and economy of Türkiye. Under the guidance of President Erdoğan the reconstruction of the region, devastated by the earthquake will be successful.
During the summit Viktor Orbán thanked the leaders of the Turkic states for reinforcing the voice of peace. He also expressed his thanks to President Erdoğan who – as he put it – has been able to successfully mediate between the warring parties – Russia and Ukraine. The Prime Minister asked the President to continue his efforts in the future too. He also thanked the President for the two countries being able to coordinate their work in the framework of NATO. For Hungary, the most important issue is the saving of human lives. For this reason, the Prime Minister’s position is that a ceasefire should be concluded as early as possible and there should be peace talks. At the same time, Viktor Orbán voiced his opinion that what we can now see in Europe is more than a war. In fact, what is happening is “the restructuring of the power relations in the whole of the European continent,” and this will have an impact on the Turkic world as well.
The Prime Minister also added that Hungary can perceive of another threat too – there are processes going on in the world economy that could produce another formation of blocks. This contradicts the interests of Hungary –it is not the formation of blocks but connectivity that we are interested in. It is connectivity that we see our future in. The Turkic states may play a key role in this, since here we are together as Europeans, Caucasians and Central Asians, countries that join one another on the basis of mutual respect, offering a good example to the whole world. Hungary supports that their economic, trade and energy interconnectivity with the Turkic states should enter a new dimension. Prime Minister Orbán indicated that Hungary would like to participate in the Turkish Investment Fund as soon as possible. The financial resources required for this are available.
On the occasion of the national holiday of March 15, Viktor Orbán recalled that the friendship between the Hungarian and Turkish people goes back to long and deep roots. He remembered the revolution and freedom fight of 1848–1849 which was jointly defeated by the Austrians and Russians. After the defeat, hundreds of army officers, scientists and politicians fled to the Ottoman Empire who were taken in by the hosts.