President Katalin Novák announced at a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara that the Hungarian Interchurch Aid will donate aid worth HUF 100 million forints in addition to 100 tons of medicines and medical equipment to help the earthquake-affected country. After meeting the Turkish President on Wednesday, 29 March, President Novák said she and President Erdoğan had discussed the Russia-Ukraine war, illegal migration, EU and NATO expansion, energy cooperation, and demographic challenges during their meeting. She also mentioned that to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, she invited President Erdoğan to Budapest to open the joint cultural year of Turkey and Hungary in December. At the press conference, Novák thanked the Hungarian organisations involved in the rescue work and emphasised the solidarity and helpfulness the Hungarian people showed towards Turkey following the tragic natural disaster.
Turkey Is A Crucial Partner For Hungary
The Hungarian President spoke about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, highlighting the need for an immediate ceasefire, peace negotiations, and a fair peace, and calling attention to the fate of the approximately 150,000 Hungarian people living in Transcarpathia. She emphasised the need to avoid the escalation of the conflict and thanked Turkey for its mediating role. Answering a journalist’s question, she explained that achieving peace is the ultimate goal, which requires common intention, and everything must be done to prevent the escalation of the war. It is necessary to cool down tensions rather than to fuel them, and the warring parties must sit at the same table and reach a peace plan, she declared.
Novák underscored Turkey’s role in tackling illegal migration, something that is of crucial importance for Hungary. She also drew attention to the fact that Hungary supports the expansion of NATO and the EU, particularly in the Western Balkans. She reminded that she signed the law on the ratification of Finland’s NATO accession on 28 March, after the Hungarian parliament had approved the ratification almost unanimously. Novák added that Sweden’s accession is also on the Hungarian agenda.
She expressed her gratitude to Turkey for securing Hungary’s continued energy supply through the Turkish Stream, and also highlighted the importance of cooperation with strategic partners such as Turkey.
Regarding demographic challenges, she explained that preserving traditional family values is essential for both countries, which is a guarantee for our future, and invited President Erdoğan to the Family-Friendly Presidents Network.
Katalin Novák, during her three day visit, will visit the Turkish Grand National Assembly on Thursday, view a part of the region affected by the earthquake, inaugurate the statue of rescue dog Mancs on Friday, then visit the Thököly Imre–Zrínyi Ilona Memorial House and lay a wreath on the grave of Imre Thököly.
President Erdogan: Turkey Ready to Contribute to Hungarian Gas Supplies
Turkey and Azerbaijan are ready to provide all support to Hungary in the field of gas supply, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at the joint press conference.
Erdoğan mentioned the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) as a guarantee, which, connected to the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), transmits the extracted natural gas from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan towards Europe.
Referring to Turkish–Hungarian relations, Erdogan also thanked Hungary for the support they provided during the rescue work after the earthquakes in southern Turkey on 6 February. He said that ‘the helping hand was a direct manifestation of our profound friendship ties’. ‘Hungarian troops rescued 35 of our compatriots injured from the rubble,’ he added.
Erdogan said that he mainly discussed commercial, military, economic, and cultural issues with Katalin Novák. He also announced that the 6th meeting of the Turkey–Hungary High Level Strategic Cooperation Council will be held in Budapest in December. The Turkish President also reported that the annual trade volume between the two countries reached 3.5 billion dollars, and the next goal is 6 billion dollars. Erdogan also spoke about the Russo-Ukrainian war, urging for immediate peace negotiations and an end to the conflict.