Hungary and Turkey are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey and the establishment of Hungarian-Turkish diplomatic relations with a year-long Hungarian-Turkish cultural season in both countries starting on December 18, MTI reported this Monday.
The Minister of Culture, János Csák was of the view that the aim of the Year is "to support the excellent cultural relations between the two countries, which go back decades, through the means of culture and to strengthen our cultural presence in each other's countries."
In his opinion, the aim of the Year is to highlight, through the arts, science and innovation, the points that connect the two countries beyond the individual and beyond the anniversary. The minister described the initiative as "strategic" to deepen understanding between the two countries beyond the highest political level to the artistic, scientific and everyday citizen levels.
Turkish ambassador Gülşen Karanis Ekşioğlu said that the idea for the season had been developed jointly by representatives of the two countries. "We thought it was one of the best ways to highlight our deep-rooted and comprehensive relations, as the cultural years are one of the best examples of cultural diplomacy," she added.
She recalled that Turkey has been a republic since October 29, 1923 and Hungary was the first country with which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk signed an international cooperation agreement on December 18, 1923 and one of the first departments of the new university established in Ankara under Atatürk's leadership was Hungarian Studies.
Hungary was one of the countries that supported the development initiative of young Turkey, thus, many Hungarian architects, engineers and professionals went to Turkey at the invitation of Atatürk and left their mark on Turkish buildings and institutions, she added. "The Turks still remember the work of Hungarians with great gratitude," she stressed.
Next year, in addition to Budapest, eight cities and towns in Hungary – Pécs, Szigetvár, Eger, Esztergom, Veszprém, Kaposvár, Szeged and Debrecen – will host programs showcasing Turkish opera, ballet, modern and traditional Turkish dance and music, as well as theatre performances, exhibitions, literary program, film screenings, gastronomic events and scientific lectures.
On December 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit Budapest to mark the anniversary.
Hungarian participants in the events will include the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hungarian National Museum, the Hungarian National Theater, the National Széchenyi Library, the Hungarian National Archives, the Petőfi Literary Museum, the National Széchényi Library, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, the Hungarian State Opera Ensemble and the artists and staff of the Hungarian Operetta Theater.
Turkey will also host the Puskás and Hungarikonok [‘Hungarian icons’] exhibitions, gastronomic events, a large-scale exhibition entitled ‘The Heirs of Attila - From the Huns to the House of Árpád’, photographs by Robert Capa and André Kertész, a football tournament between the two countries' parliamentary teams, and a Turkish fire-wall painting in memory of important Hungarian figures.
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