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Erdogan in Budapest

October 10th, 2018

After the first day of President Erdogan’s visit to Budapest, left-wing outlets complain about the absence of criticism of oppression in Turkey on the part of the government and remark that public demonstrations against the Turkish President have been feeble.

On 24.hu, Zsolt Kerner sarcastically writes in his headline that Hungary, unlike the West, ‘doesn’t embarrass valuable dictators’. He thinks PM Orbán’s hopes for more intense economic relations are exaggerated, since Turkey is facing severe economic difficulties, with halting growth and high inflation. He also doubts what Hungary can gain from the bilateral military-industry cooperation announced by Mr Orbán, about which no further details have yet been made public.

On Mérce, Nóra Diószegi-Horváth finds the few examples of protest against the President of Turkey ‘languid’. A small group of radical anti-immigrant right-wingers demonstrated against ‘Muslim penetration in Europe’ and were approached by an even smaller group of communists, but the police dissuaded the latter from getting too close to them. The Democratic Coalition intended to hold a rally in front of the building of the Academy of Sciences where President Erdogan attended a ceremony, but the police banned the demonstration and offered a nearby square as an alternative venue. The DK rejected that solution. There have been solitary marches and press conferences by individual MPs, but ‘opposition reaction hasn’t made the soil tremble under Erdogan’s feet’, Diószegi-Horváth writes. ‘Perhaps today’, she concludes.

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