(MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orban opened a Hungarian Cultural Centre in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Orban said few countries in the world could truly say they benefited from globalisation but Turkey is one such example. “The development that one can see here is on a global scale,” Orban said who is on official visit in Turkey. “Turkey is not a state at the edge of Europe anymore but a country that will play an important role in the future,” he added. Orban said “being Hungarian in Turkey is a good thing and being Turkish in Hungary is also a good thing.”
Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Celik thanked Hungary for the maintenance of historic remains from the Ottoman period.
Several agreements were signed in Orban’s presence after the opening ceremony, including the foundation document of the Hungarian-Turkish trading house in Istanbul and several inter-company deals, such as between Eximbank and the Turkish Industrial Development Bank, and between the Hungarian Natural Gas Storage company and Turkey’s Naturgaz, as well as a document to simplify visa procedures.
The Hungarian cultural centre, “Hungarian House”, opened by the Balassi Institute in Istanbul aims to reposition Hungarian culture in one of the most dynamically developing cultural centres in Europe and to strengthen Hungarian-Turkish links that have a long history, the Balassi Institute said in a statement. The significance of Turkish-Hungarian cultural relations is also demonstrated by the fact that the first Hungarian cultural institute abroad was opened in Istanbul nearly a hundred years ago, it added.
In line with an agreement between Orban and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey opened a cultural centre in Budapest in September. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration and Justice Tibor Navracsics and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag signed the agreement on setting up the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Istanbul in mid-November.
Hungary’s parliament decided in early December that a Hungarian cultural centre can be opened in Istanbul after lawmakers approved the government proposal on the bilateral agreement. In its justification the cabinet noted that the Turkish Cultural Institute had already opened in Andrassy Avenue.
Photo: MTI/Prime Minister’s Office- Barna Burger