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Dispute over Hungary’s Turkic heritage

October 5th, 2018

A conservative commentator accuses the government of advancing Hungary’s Turkic ancestry out of geopolitical considerations. Another conservative historian dismisses the accusation, and welcomes the inclusion of the nomadic heritage in the Hungarian national identity.

On Mandiner, Kristóf Trombitás thinks that Hungarians do not need myths of Turkic ancestry in order to be proud of their national identity (see BudaPost September 10). The conservative commentator contends furthermore that the Hungarian nation’s Turkic origin stories are pure fabrications. Trombitás hints that the government wants to revive such myths to secure a better relationship with Eastern countries. Instead of trying to popularize these ‘plebeian nationalist’ narratives, Trombitás recommends that Hungarians should simply be proud of having survived as a nation for a thousand years in the Carpathian basin.

In a response to Trombitás’s piece on the same site, Áron Máthé finds it important to include such nomadic heritage and Turkic ties in the Hungarian national identity. The conservative historian suggests that to speak of Hungary’s Turkic heritage is simply to acknowledge the ties between ancient Turkic peoples, not the contemporary Turkish nation. Máthé insists that the acknowledgment of the Turkic heritage has nothing to do with contemporary Neo-Ottoman ideology.

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