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Turkish mosque not permitted

October 13th, 2018

In the wake of President Erdoğan’s visit to Budapest, a left-wing commentator remarks that despite appearances, Hungarian-Turkish relations ‘are not unclouded’. Hungary refuses to authorise the building of a mosque which would be sponsored by Turkey.

In Népszava, Gábor Horváth remarks that while Chancellor Merkel of Germany made critical remarks about the state of human rights in Turkey when receiving the Turkish President, PM Orbán refrained from such comments during Mr. Erdoğan’s visit this week. The Turkish side does feel somewhat frustrated, nonetheless, as its plan to build a mosque in Budapest has no chance to materialise any time soon. The plan was announced and cancelled in 2015, then briefly resurfaced in the Turkish press in 2017. President Erdoğan came to Budapest to inaugurate the renovated tomb of Gül Baba, a 16th century dervish who allegedly ran a soup kitchen for the Hungarian poor, and planted the first roses on Buda’s Rose Hill. According to Horváth’s sources, the Turkish President suggested that the tomb, which is open for visitors, should also serve as a mosque. This request was politely declined by the Hungarian side.  Nevertheless, Horváth asserts, PM Orbán protects European Christian values verbally, while ‘catering to eastern despots’.

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