Turkish President Erdoğan to visit Budapest on 20 August

August 11. 2023. – 01:10 PM


Turkish President Erdoğan to visit Budapest on 20 August
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán receives Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Carmelite Monastery on 7 November 2019 – Photo by Zoltán Fischer / MTI / Press Office of the Prime Minister


Copied to clipboard

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has invited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Budapest for a work visit, the Prime Minister's press chief Bertalan Havasi told MTI (The Hungarian State News Agency).

The Hungarian-Turkish summit will take place on 20 August at the Carmelite Monastery, (the PM's office) and the topics to be discussed include security, matters of defence industry and economy. Viktor Orbán has met with the Turkish President several times in recent years, for example in March they met in Ankara at the summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS). The Prime Minister also attended the inauguration of Erdoğan, after he was re-elected for another five-year term, in June.

The parties are planning to prepare the next meeting of the Hungarian-Turkish High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, which will be held in Budapest at the end of the year, Havasi said in the statement.

The last time the Turkish president paid an official visit to Budapest was in November 2019, when the capital's traffic became completely paralysed due to the security measures in place. Because of the Turkish president's convoy, traffic was blocked for hours in several places, public transport stopped and it was even it difficult to get to certain parts of the capital on foot.

Since August 20th is one of Hungary's biggest national holidays, with several events held throughout the capital, it remains to be seen how the closures connected to marking the national holiday and the security measures for the arrival of the Turkish president will impact Budapest.

It was at the NATO summit in Vilnius in June that the Turkish president announced that Turkey would ratify Sweden's application for NATO membership. Sweden's NATO membership has been pending since autumn last year, with Turkey and Hungary being the only two of the 30 (31 now, including Finland) member states that have not given their approval. Erdoğan's announcement is thought to have come as a surprise to Hungary's ruling Fidesz-KNDP coalition, which had justified the delay in approving the Swedes' accession on the grounds of "grievances" and uncertainty within the Fidesz-KDNP parliamentary group.

Sweden's NATO accession: we didn't coordinate with the Turks, except that we did

For a long time before the Turkish announcement in June, Fidesz-KDNP faction members denied that the approvals were coordinated with the Turks, even though after a long delay, the decision to approve Finland's accession also came at nearly the same time from both countries. The leader of Fidesz' parliamentary group announced Hungary's approval of Finland's accession almost at the same time as Turkish President Erdoğan did. Finally, the Hungarian Parliament gave its nod to their request on 27 March and the Turkish Parliament on 31 March.

Finally, in July, Zsolt Németh, the Fidesz-delegated chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, said: "Undeniably, things were very closely coordinated between the Turkish and the Hungarian diplomats throughout, right up to the very last moment." Our summary of how Németh pulled the veil off the cooperation that everyone kept denying for months can be found here. The Hungarian Parliament is expected to vote on the decision which has been postponed for more than a year during its autumn session.

For more quick, accurate and impartial news from and about Hungary, subscribe to the Telex English newsletter!