Erdogan gets warm welcome in Hungary
Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan was given a warm welcome in Hungary Monday (8 October) just weeks after Ankaraâs strained relations with other EU nations were thrown into sharp relief in a tense visit to Germany.
The Turkish leader has had staunch support from Budapest even as EU relations waver, with Prime Minister Viktor OrbÃ¡n among the first to congratulate ErdoÄan on his re-election in July and one of the few European officials to attend the inauguration ceremony in Ankara.
A fierce critic of what he sees as an undemocratic Europe, OrbÃ¡n has repeatedly hailed the âstabilityâ that he perceives the Turkish regime offers.
âTurkeyâs stability is the guaranty of our security,â he said at a joint press conference with ErdoÄan, referring to the role of Turkish authorities in controlling migration into Europe.
He urged Europe to put in place a âstrategic cooperation wit h Turkey, at all costsâ.
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The visit comes after a sensitive trip to Germany at the end of September, as Berlin and Ankara face the daunting task of rebuilding relations and trust battered by a succession of disputes.
Turkeyâs relations with Germany â" and other key EU states â" had hit historic lows in the aftermath of the 2016 failed coup to oust ErdoÄan as Berlin took issue with the scope of the remorseless crackdown afterwards that also caught up German nationals.
Ankara needs the EU as relations with the United States deteriorate and the Turkish economy, very dependent on trade with Europe, is in difficulty.
ErdoÄanâs two-day visit to Hungary will also allow him to show his critics that âno, the EU hasnât completely turned its back on Turkey,â said Tamas Szigetvari, economics professor at Peter Pazmany University in Budapest.
âItâs nice for him to visit an EU country where he isnât under fire for his record on human rights and democracy,â the expert told AFP.
Orban: It's âimpossibleâ that the EU will allow visa-free travel for Turks
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor OrbÃ¡n said that he sees it as âimpossibleâ to allow Turkish citizens visa-free travel to Europe, and that European countries will be unable to keep their promise to Turkey.
The Turkish leader and the Hungarian premier, who secured his third consecutive term in office in April, are per ceived to be made of the same mettle â" democratically elected but with authoritarian and distinctly anti-liberal tendencies.
Restrictions on freedom of expression in Turkey have come in for sharp international criticism, while Hungary risks sanctions from the EU over legislative changes seen as a threat to the rule of law and the blocâs values.
Relations between Hungary and Turkey may currently be cordial, but the two countriesâ history has not always been so friendly, and Hungary was occupied by the Ottoman empire for a century and a half between 1541 and 1699.
Nowadays, ErdoÄan professes nostalgia for the Ottoman empire, while OrbÃ¡nâs government promotes so-called âturanistâ theories, hotly disputed by historians and linguists, that see Turkish and Finno-Ugric languages, including Hungarian, as sharing a common origin.
On a visit to Kyrgyzstan in September, OrbÃ¡n lauded Hungarian as a âstrange and unique language related to Turkish lang uagesâ.
Tamas Szigetvari argues that such theories enable OrbÃ¡n to portray Hungary as a sort of distant cousin to countries in Asia that Budapest is wooing for economic reasons.
But not everyone is happy about the cordial relations between the two countries: a small centre-left party said that a demonstration it had been planning to protest ErdoÄanâs visit has been banned under a new law that came into force this month that restricts freedom of assembly.
OrbÃ¡n sees shift to illiberal Christian democracy in 2019 European vote
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor OrbÃ¡n said on Saturday (28 July) that European parliament elections next year could bring about a shift toward illiberal âChristian democracyâ in the European Union that would end the era of multiculturalism.Source: Google News Hungary | Netizen 24 Hungary