Bilateral Relations between Turkey and Hungary

Turkey and Hungary enjoy friendly relations based on historical and cultural ties, NATO alliance, close cooperation within international organizations, especially the EU and the Council of Europe, and Hungary’s support to Turkey’s EU membership. Our relations have been intensified in all areas through frequent high level visits and various consultation mechanisms.

President Erdoğan, during his Prime Ministry, visited Hungary in February 2013, where the establishment of the “High Level Strategic Cooperation Council” (HLSCC) between Turkey and Hungary was agreed upon. During Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s visit to Turkey in December 2013, the first meeting of the HLSCC was held. Hence, our bilateral relations were advanced to “strategic cooperation” level. The second meeting of HLSCC was held in February 2015 in Budapest; and the third one in Ankara in May 2017. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited Ankara for the third HLSCC meeting.

Hungarian President Janos Ader visited Turkey in March 2015, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Hungary in October 2018.

Mr. Peter Szijjarto, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, visited Turkey on various occasions, last ones being in August 2016 to demonstrate Hungarian Government’s solidarity after the failed coup attempt on 15 July 2016; in March 2017 for the Joint Economic Commission meeting; in June 2017 for the third HLSCC; and lastly in February 2019 for the Turkey-Hungary Africa Business Forum and the Budapest Process Ministerial Conference which both took place in İstanbul. Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Çavuşoğlu paid an official visit to Hungary in February 2016; and accompanied President Erdoğan during his visit to Hungary in October 2018.

Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary, László Kövér visited Turkey in Mayıs 2013; the former Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Binali Yıldırım, visited Hungary in December 2018.

Turkey supported Hungary’s observer status in the Turkic Council. Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungar,y László Kövér attended the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkich Council which took place in November 2018 in İzmir, Turkey.

Hungary, during her Presidency of Visegrad 4 (V4) in July 2017-July 2018, has contributed greatly to enhancing the dialog between Turkey and V4.

Hungary follows an economy/trade focused foreign policy and considers Turkey as one of the key countries in its “Opening to the East” policy. Hungary opened a Trade house in İstanbul in December 2013. Other than similar offices in various cities; Hungarian Eximbank also opened an office in İstanbul in 2015. The bilateral trade volume between the two countries increased from 1.8 billion Dollars in 2013 to 2.5 billion Dollars in 2018 (Turkish exports: 1,156 billion Dollars, imports: 1,395 billion Dollars). Both sides agreed on increasing the trade volume to 5 billion Dollars.

Direct investments from Hungary to Turkey during 2002-2018 amounted to 29 million Dollars. Turkish direct investments in Hungary in the same period have been 58 million Dollars.

With 55 % increase with respect to the previous year, approximately 124 thousand Hungarian tourists visited Turkey in 2018.

Cultural relations are also a significant part of our bilateral relations. There is Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centre (YETKM) in Budapest, and a Hungarian Cultural Centre in Istanbul. Moreover, there are Turcology and Hungarology Departments in selected Universities of both countries.

Due to common history, Hungary hosts many Ottoman era monuments in cities such as Budapest, Peç, Zigetvar, Eger. The restoration of various monuments by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) are currently underway. Within this framework, the official inauguration of the Gül Baba Tomb was held in October 2018 during President Erdoğan’s visit to Hungary.

The martyrs of the 15th Army corps who fought during the First World War at the Galician front lie in the Turkish Martyrs’ Cemetery in Budapest.

There are approximately 2600 Turkish citizens residing in Hungary.

Hungary has a Consulate General in İstanbul and Honorary Consulates in Antalya, İzmir, Adana, Kütahya, Kayseri, Tekirdağ and Kocaeli.