Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

PM Orbán on Hungary’s Turkic origins

September 10th, 2018

Liberal pundits lambast PM Orbán for suggesting that the Hungarian national community has Turkic roots. A pro-government columnist, on the other hand, welcomes that the fact that the PM acknowledges Hungary’s Eastern kinship and belonging.

Last week, Prime Minister Orbán visited Kyrgyzstan to participate in the summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States and opened the World Nomad Games. In his speeches there, PM Orbán claimed that the Hungarian nation “stands on foundations of Hun-Turkic origins” and Hungarian is related to Turkic languages. PM Orbán added that Hungary considers it important to maintain its national identity, which is not seen as important in the West.

Magyar Narancs in a front page editorial interprets PM Orbán’s statements concerning the Turkic origins of Hungarians as an indication of the government anti-democratic inclinations. The liberal weekly contends that linking Hungarian ancestry to Turkic peoples is a blatant attack on proven scientific truth. Magyar Narancs recalls that in the 20th century, the mainstream scientific view that Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language was questioned by extreme right-wing political movements. Magyar Narancs suspects that PM Orbán is talking about Hungary’s kinship with Turkic peoples to underscore his government’s anti-Western attitudes and the hopes it places in the rise of Eastern type dictatorships.

In Élet és Irodalom, János Széky also sees political calculations behind PM Orbán’s words on the Turkic roots of Hungarians. The liberal pundit recalls that five years ago PM Orbán spoke of Hungary’s Finno-Ugric linguistic origins. His turn towards the Turkic origin myths shows that the government now ignores even basic facts, Széky claims. He goes on to speculate that the government wants to create a new cultural canon and national identity to replace the current ones. Széky wonders when history books will be rewritten in accordance with the PM’s statement concerning the nation’s Turkic kinship.

Magyar Demokrata’s editor in chief András Bencsik welcomes PM Orbán’s decision to finally acknowledge what he calls the Hungarian nation’s Scythian origins. The pro-government columnist suspects that this Eastern kinship will become an increasingly valuable asset as Hungarians have been traditionally taught that they are on their own in this world. PM Orbán’s next international appearance will be his presence at the debate on the Sargentini report in the European Parliament, he remarks. The balance of power there, he continues, will change after next year’s European elections, as a new group of forces which believe in     their national traditions and ‘don’t want to take part in the decline of the West’ is getting stronger day by day, Bencsik writes.

Tags: ,