President Abdullah Gül, accompanied by First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül, paid a state visit to Hungary. Pointing to historical depth of Turkish-Hungarian amicable relations, President Gül reiterated that the tangible traces of the amity and cooperation between the two countries can be seen in many areas including the economy, science and technology, culture, arts and literature. The Presidential Couple also explored the Gallicia Cemetery for Turkish Martyrs in Budapest.

The Presidential Couple paying an official visit to Hungary at the invitation of President Janos Adler, were welcomed by Hungarian Presidency's Secretary General, Maria Adam Haszonicsne; Turkey's Ambassador to Budapest, Şakir Fakılı, and other officials at Liszt Ferenc.

Afterwards, they proceeded to the hotel where they will be staying. A group of Turkish expatriates welcomed the First Couple in front of the hotel.



As the first leg of his program, President Gül laid a wreath at the Heroes Memorial and he later proceeded to the Sandor Palace, where the official welcoming ceremony was held.

The President, upon his arrival at the Sandor Palace, was accompanied by the National Mounted Guard of Honor.

The Presidential Couple were welcomed by their Hungarian counterparts at the Sandor Palace with an official welcoming ceremony.

Afterwards, the family photo was taken and President Gül signed the Book of Honor. The First Couples then had a tete-a-tete and Presidents Gül and Ader chaired the delegational talks.



The First Couple were welcomed by President Janos Ader and Hungarian First Lady Anita Herczegh with an official ceremony at the Sandor Palace

After the tete-a-tete between the two Presidential Couples, the First Ladies visited the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest. Exploring the sections where the works of the Islamic Arts and Turkish Carpet Collections are displayed, the First Ladies later visited the ceramic exhibition and a carpet restoration atelier.

Afterwards, Mrs. Herczegh hosted a luncheon in honor of Mrs. Gül.



President Abdullah Gül held a joint press conference with President Janos Ader of Hungary. At the beginning of his speech, President Gül expressed his happiness to be in Budapest, which he said is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and he pointed to historical depth of Turkish-Hungarian amicable relations and said the biggest reason why these relations are excellent is the sympathy both peoples have for each other.



Informing his audience that during the talks between their delegations they had discussed in detail the existing bilateral relations between the two countries, President Gül recalled that Turkey and Hungary are two allies in NATO. The President also noted that these relations were raised to the level of strategic partnership during the visit made by Prime Minister Orban of Hungary to Turkey last year, thus, he added, the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council was established between the two countries.



President Gül continued as follows: “Our volume of trade is 2 billion dollars. We have a target to raise it to 5 billion dollars in the near future and we have also agreed to accelerate the mutual investments. A broad delegation of the representatives of the Turkish business and investment world is accompanying me on my state visit. Turkey has great potential for business to seize. Turkey is Europe’s 6th biggest economy with a gross national product of more than 850 billion dolar.

President Ader, during his speech, shared his happiness at welcoming President Gül to Hungary and reiterated that Turkish-Hungarian bilateral relations have reached a very high level.

Lauding Turkey for its success in the economy in the last decade, the Hungarian President said they have discussed what they could do to boost the existing volume of trade between the two countries.

He further pointed to the culture centers in Istanbul and Budapest and said both countries have a cooperation in terms of the restoration of the structures belonging to Ottoman times in Hungary.

After the joint press conference, President Gül met with the Speaker of the National Hungarian Parliament, Laszlo Köver.



The President, afterwards, attended a working luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Victor Orban of Hungary at the National Hungarian Parliament. President Gül was later informed about the Holy Hungarian Crown, which was exhibited in the parliament building.


President Abdullah Gül delivered a speech at the plenary session of the Turkey-Hungary Business Forum as part of his official program in Budapest.

Evincing his pleasure to be visiting Hungary, President Gül offered his thanks to the Hungarian administration for its warm hospitality. The President informed his audience that he had met with Prime Minister Orban, with whom he said explored the Hungarian Parliament. That building was mesmerizing, he noted. “We have a lot historically in common indeed. Before coming here, I gave an interview to a Hungarian journalist, whose name was Levent. His brother’s name was Atilla. Why am I mentioning this? Because thousands of Turkish men bear the same names in Turkey. Such common features we share strengthen the existing ties between the two peoples indeed. And today, Turkey and Hungary are two allies in NATO. We enjoy excellent political relations.”



President Gül later expressed that although they currently have excellent political relations, Turkey and Hungary have still yet to reach level of the economic relations that could be expected . We have relatively little volume of trade, which is 2 billion dollars, noted the President, adding: “The Turkish and Hungarian economies are strong indeed. Turkey has a dynamic population. Turkey’s macroeconomic indicatiors are very good. We have implemented radical reforms in all areas including the banking sector and economy as we have learned from the financial crisis hitting our country in 2001. These reforms have made Turkey much stronger and more robust. This is why we are Europe’s 6th and the world’s 17th biggest economy today. Our GNP is over 850 billion dollars; this figure is 1.35 trillion dollars in terms of purchasing parity. The Turkish economy’s average growth rate in the last decade is 6.5 %”


President Gül further pointed to the huge potential they should seize in terms of investments, noting: “Turkey has minimum risk for investors and it does not have financing problem due to the fact that it is constantly growing and it has healthy macroeconomic indicatiors. Turkey has drawn 150 billion dollars of direct investments in the last decade. Hungary’s share in this huge figure is only some 30 million dollars. As for the Turkish investments in Hungary, it is approximately 70 million dollars. Why is that? I think Turkey and Hungary have not yet discovered the huge potential they have. Hungary has a strong technological tradition. Hungarian engineers produce important machinery like moulding machines. It made investments in the energy sector back in the 1940s in Turkey. Hungarian engineers built the thermal power plant in the Turkish province of Sivas at that time. We should create stronger economic cooperation. There are many areas that we can seize including alternative energy, coal, wind, natural gas and oil pipelines.”

The President also reiterated that Turkish and Hungarian firms can work together in other countries and noted that Turkey has strong ties in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East in this regard.


The huge projects which Turkish companies completed in these regions are worth 26 billion dollars, emphasized President Gül, underscoring that there are 33 Turkish construction firms among the 225 biggest companies in this area in the world. He further urged the investors from both countries to get to know each other so that they can carry out projects together. I mentioned the same during my meetings with my Italian and French counterparts. As the growth of some business areas is limited, those who wish to grow in investments can do this in countries that have great potential. It is hard to find a more attractive country than Turkey in the EU Customs Union in this regard. Turkey, which has been conducting its negotiation process with the EU, has achieved many standards of the club.”

Offering his thanks to the Hungarian people and government for their support for Turkey on the path toward the EU, President Gül recalled that Turkey had achieved the political and economic requirements and criteria the EU has set, therefore, he said, Turkey’s negotiation process was launched. “We have implemented radical reforms in the economic, legal and other areas. Our debt burden is 36 % of our GNP. According to the Maastricht criteria, it must be below 40 %. Our budget deficit is only 1.5 %. It must be less than 3 % as per the Maastricht criteria. There are only a few countries in the EU which have achieved these.”

President Gül further urged the business leaders from both countries to get to know each other and carry out business together. We are ready to pave the way for you, noted the President.


The Presidential Couple attended an official dinner which their Hungarian counterparts hosted in their honor.

President Gül evinced his pleasure to be visiting Hungary, a Central European country which has a deep-rooted history and with which Turkey enjoys a sturdy alliance and friendship. “Hungary and its people have a special place in our hearts. This fraternal feelings are mutual, of course. The Turkish and Hungarian nations are two people that have been able to create a robust friendship and cooperation, taking strength from an intense historical interaction.”



Referring to Istanbul and Budapest as two historical freinds, President Gül said “the friendship message being carried by the River Danube’s waters which flow with an energetic sound meets Istanbul in the cool waters of the Bosphorus by way of the Black Sea. It is thanks to this friendship that the Turkish people welcomed and hosted such Hungarian figures as İmre Thököly, Ferenc Rakoczi and Layosh Koshut in our country. These names engraved in the history of Hungary in gold letters are among the common values and heroes of both countries. It is also due to this friendship again that İbrahim Müteferrika, who came from Hungary to Istanbul, founded the first printing press in the Ottoman Emprie in 1727. Likewise, Szechenyi Paşa pioneered the Turkish firefighters. The traces of the Hungarian resources can be found in Tarih-i Pechevi, one of the most important works of the 17th century Ottoman history, through the accounts of İbrahim Efendi, who was born in the province of Perch. It is due to this friendship that the Hungarian Parliament was among those that congratulated the Turkish people on its independence victory in 1922. It is also thanks to this fellowship that our Hungarian friends hung black flags of mourning from their homes and state institutions on the day Atatürk, the founder of our Republic, died.


Tangible demonstrations of this fellowship, the President noted, can be seen today in many areas ranging from culture and arts to science and literature as well, referring to the hundreds of words commonly used in both languages.

As a result of the strong cultural interaction, President Gül recalled, one of the first Turkology institutues was founded in 1870 in Budapest. Similarly, the President said, the first chair of Hungarian studies in Turkey was founded in 1935 at Ankara University. “Since December 2013, we have been defining our relations as a strategic partnership. Turkey and Hungary are two allies and friends in NATO that have promised to protect each other in difficult times. They are also in close cooperation in such platforms as the UN, the EU, OSCE and the Council of Europe on the basis of the vision which aims to make contributions to global and regional peace, stability and prosperity. At this point, I would like to extend my thanks to the Hungarian people and administration for their support for Turkey’s membership process toward the EU. We believe that your strong support for our accession process toward the EU, of which we would like to be a member in order to add to its strength, will continue. We are resolute to boost our relations with the Visegrad Group, which is one of Central Europe’s most important cooperation platforms and whose current term presidency is conducted by Hungary. We appreciate your efforts toward the establishment of a permanent dialogue mechanism between Turkey and the Visegrad Group. We are also determined to raise the existing economic and trade relations between the two countries to the level that befits our excellent political relations.”


As for President Ader of Hungary, he lauded Turkey’s achievements in the last decade and noted that they have observed how Turkey’s influence in the international arena has increased. The Hungarian President expressed his pleasure that Turkey is wielding its prestige responsibly and noted that he trusts the Turkish business world in terms of the investment opportunities in his country.

After the dinner, Kayseri Mayor Mehmet Özhaseki was presented the Order of Merit by Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Matonyi on behalf of President Ader.


President Abdullah Gül along with First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül explored the Gallicia Cemetery for Turkish Martyrs and the Gül Baba Tomb in Budapest.

A ceremony, during which the national anthems of both countries were played, was held on the occasion of the President’s visit to the cemetery. President Gül, after laying a wreath at the memorial and standing in silence for a minute, signed the Book of Honor and made a prayer for the souls of the Turkish martyrs resting in the cemetery. The First Couple later laid flowers on the graves.

As he was leaving the cemetery, President Gül was presented the Quran in the Hungarian language by a group of Hungarian youngsters who converted to Islam in Hungary. When these people requested that a mosque should be built in Budapest, President Gül said there is a plan to construct one.

The Presidential Couple paid a visit to the Gül Baba tomb and planted a rose seedling in the garden of the tomb.

Having completed his program in Budapest, President Abdullah Gül left for Ankara.