Budapest, Monday, November 20, 2023 (MTI) – The two countries are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey and the establishment of Hungarian-Turkish diplomatic relations with the Hungarian- with a Turkish cultural season – announced János Csák, the minister responsible for culture and innovation, at the press conference held in Müpa on Monday. On the occasion of the anniversary, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also visit Budapest.
The minister emphasized: the purpose of the season is “to support the excellent relations between the two countries, which go back decades, with the tools of culture, to strengthen our cultural presence in each other’s countries”.
János Csák recalled that Hungarian-Turkish diplomatic relations are officially one hundred years old, but the history of the two countries goes back much longer, so it is important to “reinforce friendship, respect for each other, and recognition of each other’s dignity from time to time”.
The minister put it this way: the purpose of the season is to point out the points that connect the two countries beyond the individual levels and the anniversary through the arts, science, and innovations. The minister called the initiative of “strategic importance” to deepen the understanding between the two countries beyond the highest political level at the artistic, scientific and ordinary citizen levels.
Gülsen Karanis, the ambassador of Turkey in Budapest, said that the idea of the season was developed jointly by the representatives of the two countries. “We thought this was one of the best ways to highlight our deep-rooted and comprehensive ties, as the cultural years are one of the best examples of cultural diplomacy,” he added.
He recalled that Turkey has been a republic since October 29, 1923, and Hungary was the first country with which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk signed an international cooperation agreement on December 18, 1923, and one of the first departments of the new university established in Ankara under Atatürk’s leadership was Hungarianology.
Hungary was among the countries that supported the development initiative of young Turkey, therefore, at the invitation of Atatürk, many Hungarian architects, engineers and specialists came to Turkey and left their mark on Turkish buildings and institutions, he added. “The Turks still remember the work of the Hungarians with great gratitude,” he emphasized.
Gülsen Karanis said that next year, in addition to Budapest, there will be programs in eight Hungarian cities, Pécs, Szigetvár, Eger, Esztergom, Veszprém, Kaposvár, Szeged and Debrecen, where Turkish opera, ballet, modern and traditional Turkish dance, or music, but there will also be theater performances, exhibitions, literary programs, film screenings, gastronomic events and scientific lectures.
The ambassador highlighted: on the occasion of the anniversary, on December 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also visit Budapest.
Péter Hoppál, the government commissioner responsible for organizing the season, explained: the purpose of the more than a hundred artistic, scientific and innovation programs organized during the season is not only to promote Hungarian culture in Turkey, but also to initiate long-term collaborations that can strengthen Turkish-Hungarian relations in the individual fields level as well.
He explained that Hungary has already implemented many cultural seasons in several countries of the world, but there has never been an example of organizing a complex cultural season for a whole year in another country so that the destination country also holds a cultural season in Hungary. He emphasized that the program was implemented in a close partnership between the cultural, scientific and educational institutes and ministries of the two countries.
Speaking about the season’s programs, he said that, among other things, Hungarian national holidays will be commemorated, including Hungarian Culture Day, March 15, August 20 and October 23, as well as Mother’s and Children’s Day events, the Hungarian Science Day on the occasion of scientific conferences, and also appears as a guest of honor at each other’s major festivals.
Among the Hungarian participants, he mentioned the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hungarian National Museum, the Hungarian National Theatre, the National Széchenyi Library, the Hungarian National Archives, the Petőfi Literary Museum, the National Széchenyi Library, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, the Hungarian State Opera ensemble, as well as the artists and staff of the Operettsthínház. In addition, the Puskás and Hungarikonok exhibitions will be presented in Turkey, there will be gastronomic programs, a large-scale exhibition entitled “Heirs of Attila – From the Huns to Árpád-ház” will be organized, the photos of Robert Capa and André Kertész can also be seen by the Turkish public, and the football championship of the parliamentary teams of the two countries will be organized as well as commemorating significant Hungarian figures with Turkish fire wall painting.
Csaba Káel, the CEO of Müpa and the director of the opening gala in December, said: the performance commemorates the long relationship between the two peoples, dating back centuries.