Address by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Turkic States
Your Excellency President Erdoğan, Your Excellencies, Dear Brothers and Sisters,
First of all, please accept my country’s condolences after the dreadful losses caused by the earthquake that has struck Türkiye. I would like to express my highest appreciation to those who bravely worked to save people’s lives. In the first days after it struck, search and rescue personnel from Hungary joined forces with their Turkish counterparts. We managed to rescue many people. A disaster such as this places a great deal of pressure on a healthcare system, and so today we have handed over 100 tonnes of hospital equipment to the Turkish disaster management authority. Rebuilding will be a huge task. My first visit to Türkiye as Prime Minister was in 2000, and I have worked with President Erdoğan for more than a decade. Therefore I have seen with my own eyes the tremendous development that Türkiye has undergone in the last twenty-three years, and the fantastic progress in the last ten years under President Erdoğan; and I am confident that the reconstruction programme will also be successful.
I would like to assure you that in the reconstruction process you can count on Hungary.
Allow me to note that we have just celebrated Hungary’s national holiday, when we commemorate our War of Independence in 1848. That was, of course, crushed by the Germans [of the Austrian Empire] and the Russians, after which hundreds of military officers, scientists and politicians fled to Türkiye – to be welcomed by your compatriots, President Erdoğan, Your Excellency. In the spirit of our national holiday, I would also like to celebrate the deep long-lasting roots of Turkish-Hungarian friendship.
Honourable Presidents, Your Excellencies,
The main issue in Europe today is war, and this puts my country in a difficult situation. For us Ukraine is a neighbouring state, and therefore the effects of the war on us are serious and immediate: inflation is sky-high, and energy prices are at an all-time peak. I have to inform you that many Hungarians have died in this war, because those being conscripted into the Ukrainian army include men from the Hungarian community in Western Ukraine. Therefore for Hungary the most important thing is to save human lives. Human lives can only be saved through peace, and this is why Hungary is arguing for the soonest possible declaration of a ceasefire and peace negotiations.
If our brothers and sisters will allow me, I would also like to briefly mention that what we now see is more than just war in Europe; in fact it is a restructuring of power relations across the whole of Europe. This can also affect the Turkic world, and at some point in the future it will be worth us discussing this in more depth. We are grateful to President Erdoğan for him being the only one so far who has been able to successfully mediate between the warring sides. We thank the President for his efforts, and we ask him to continue them in the future. Only in this way can we have a chance for peace. As we are both members of NATO, I would also like to thank President Erdoğan for the fact that we are able to coordinate our work within NATO. I thank you, the leaders of the Turkic states, for amplifying the voice of peace. Unfortunately Europe is suffering from war-induced psychosis, and the continent from which I come is, day by day, drifting into war. Therefore it is important for the voice of peace to compete with the voice of war, and it is important to make it clear that the global majority wants peace.
If you will allow me to say so, from the perspective of Hungary we see another danger. In the world economy there are ongoing processes that could end up in the creation of opposing blocs. The emergence of blocs in the global economy harms our interests. We do not see any future in blocs, but in connectivity, in interconnection. And in this the Turkic states can play a key role, because here we have European, Caucasian and Central Asian countries together, interconnected on the basis of mutual respect, setting a good example to the whole world. This is why Hungary, Your Excellency, supports our interconnections – our economic, trade and energy interconnections – taking on a new dimension. We would also like to participate in the Turkic Investment Fund as soon as possible, and we have the necessary financial means at our disposal.
In conclusion, Your Excellency, President Erdoğan, Dear Brother,
Thank you for inviting us here today. We wish you much strength in organising reconstruction work, and we will gladly give you all the help we can.
Thank you for your attention.