Katalin Novák: we are helping Türkiye in its troubles and will also do so in the future
Hungarians extend a helping hand to the Turkish people in their troubles caused by the earthquake and will continue to help going forward – said President of Hungary Katalin Novák at the joint press conference held with President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the two Presidents’ meeting in Ankara on Wednesday.
The President of Hungary informed the press conference that on behalf of Hungarian Interchurch Aid, Chairman and Director László Lehel will present a 100 million HUF donation to Türkiye on Wednesday. Beyond this, Hungarians are also helping the earthquake-stricken country with 100 tons of medicines and with medical equipment. Among the topics of her meeting with the President, Katalin Novák mentioned the Russian-Ukrainian war, illegal migration, NATO and EU enlargement, energy cooperation and demographic challenges.
The President of Hungary also stressed that on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, she invited President Erdogan to Hungary whereby the two Presidents can open the common cultural year of Türkiye and Hungary together in December.
At the press conference, Katalin Novák thanked the Hungarian organisations involved in the rescue operations, and stressed the unity and helpfulness of the Hungarian people.
The President of Hungary spoke about the Russian-Ukrainian war, highlighting the need for the soonest possible ceasefire, peace talks and an equitable peace agreement, as well as for securing the future of the 150 thousand Hungarians living in Transcarpathia. She emphasized the importance of avoiding an escalation of the war, and thanked Türkiye for the role it plays as a mediator.
Responding to a question from a journalist, she explained that achieving peace is the ultimate goal, which requires a shared commitment, and that everything must be done to avoid an escalation of the war. Tensions should not be fuelled but cooled, the warring parties should sit down at a common table, and a peace plan is necessary – she emphasized.
Katalin Novák highlighted the role played by Türkiye concerning illegal migration, which is of key importance to Hungary.
The President also emphasised that Hungary supports the enlargement of NATO and the EU, primarily regarding the Western Balkans. She recalled that she signed the law on Hungary’s ratification of Finland’s NATO accession in the recent days, and that the accession of Sweden is also on the agenda.
Katalin Novák expressed gratitude for the fact that the supply of energy to Hungary is ensured through the Turkish Stream in the future as well, and went on to stress the importance of cooperation with strategic partners, including Türkiye.
Speaking about demographic challenges, Katalin Novák pointed out that both countries see it as highly important to uphold traditional family values, as this is a precondition for our future, and pointed out that she invited President Erdogan to join the Network of Family Friendly Presidents.
Türkiye and Azerbaijan are ready to give Hungary all support concerning the supply of energy – said President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the joint press conference following the meeting with President of Hungary Katalin Novák.
In his speech, President Erdogan mentioned the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP) as the guarantee of safe delivery. TANAP is connected to the South Caucasus pipeline (SCP) and as such, delivers natural gas to Europe from as far as the Sah Deniz field in Azerbaijan.
Speaking about Turkish-Hungarian relations, President Erdogan thanked Hungary for its support during the rescue efforts after the earthquakes in southern Turkey on 6 February.
"The helping hand was a direct manifestation of our deep bonds of friendship," he said.
"The Hungarian rescue teams brought 35 of our injured compatriots from beneath the rubble " – he added.
President Erdogan told the press conference that the main topics of discussion with Katalin Novák were trade, military, economic and cultural issues.
He also announced that the 6th meeting of the Turkish-Hungarian High Level Strategic Cooperation Council will be held in Budapest in December.
The Turkish Head of State pointed out that the annual trade turnover of the two countries has reached 3.5 billion dollars, and that the next target is 6 billion dollars. Erdogan also spoke about the war between Russia and Ukraine. He called for peace talks at the soonest possible date and an end to the war.
Katalin Novák, who will arrive in Türkiye on a three-day visit, will appear in the Grand Turkish National Assembly, visit a part of the earthquake-stricken region, unveil the statue of Mancs, the rescue dog, on Friday, and will then visit the Memorial House for Imre Thököly and Ilona Zrínyi and lay a wreath at Imre Thököly’s tomb.