‘Turkey has key role on European security’ – Hungary


By Mehmet Yilmaz

BUDAPEST (AA) – Turkey has a key role in the security of Europe and the Middle East, said the Hungarian government’s spokesman.

“As a regional power Turkey has an important role in terms of both the security of Europe and the Middle East,” Zoltan Kovacs told Anadolu Agency in an interview ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's planned to visit Hungary on Oct. 8-9.

Describing Turkish-Hungarian relations as “strategic,” Kovacs said: “We are aware that Turkey is a determining factor geopolitically and strategically, and we are developing our relations accordingly.”

Kovacs also said that Hungary would continue to support Turkey’s E.U. bid.

Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community (a precursor to the EU) in 1987. It became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005.

Kovacs said that Erdogan will inaugurate nearly a 500-year-old Ottoman-era tomb restored by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Hungarian authorities.

The octagonal tomb of Gul Baba (Father of Roses), an Ottoman Bektashi dervish poet and companion of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, was built between 1543 and 1548 in Budapest.