Orbán visits Turkey, calls Hungarian businessmen “touchy”

June 30, 2017

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (MTI)

“Hungary stands with its friends, and it stands with Turkey,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Friday at the Hungarian–Turkish Business Forum in Ankara, Turkey.

Orbán used his time at the forum to express Hungary’s commitment to standing by Turkey, even when it may be “uncomfortable” to do so. He then called on Turkish businesses to note that Hungary is Europe’s safest country, the taxes are low, and, as an EU Member State, Hungary has access to a market of 500 million people.

“While the security in Europe is deteriorating, there is order, security, and predictability in Hungary,” Orbán said.

According to MTI, Hungary’s state-run news service, he warned the Turkish businessmen that their Hungarian counterparts are “touchy”, and recommended that Turkish businessmen refrain from “provocating” or trying to school Hungarian businessmen when trying to do business in Hungary. Instead, Orbán advised, Turkish businessmen should pay respect to the Hungarians because Hungary is a country of ten million people and has been around for a millennium.

Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yıldırım also spoke at the event and addressed the “foul attempt at a coup” that took place in Turkey in 2016. According to Yıldırım, the goal of the attempted coup was to destroy Turkey’s democracy and undermine the future of the country.

The “bravery of the nation” and the “government’s determination” stopped the attempted seizure of power, Yıldırım said, before adding it was after this that Turkey learned who its real friends were — and one of these friends is Hungary.

In July 2016, after the Turkish coup was suppressed, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó came out in full support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, avoiding any mention that Erdoğan appeared to be using the occasion to crack down on the democratic opposition, civil society, and what little remains of Turkey’s independent judiciary.