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Hungarian Press Roundup: Orbán Government Accused of Supporting Turkish Incursion in Syria

Hungary Today 2019.10.18.

A neoconservative pundit lambasts Hungary for not objecting to the Turkish invasion of Kurdish territories in Syria. A pro-government commentator takes up the government’s defence.

Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu

Background information: German weekly Spiegel reported that Hungary vetoed a declaration by EU Foreign Ministers condemning the Turkish incursion in northern Syria against the Kurdish self-government there – on the eve of the military action. The Hungarian government explained that it wanted to suggest a compromise rather than a condemnation of Turkey. After the launching of the Turkish intervention, a declaration was finally approved with Hungary’s consent. On Monday, Turkish President Erdogan thanked PM Orbán for his support. Foreign Minister Szijjártó expressed the hope that Turkey will stabilize Syria so that migrants and refugees can return to their home rather than proceed to Europe.

On Neokohn, László Seres accuses the government of complicity in war crimes and selling out Hungary’s foreign policy interests by uncritically supporting Turkey. The neoconservative pro-Israeli pundit finds it shameful that the Hungarian Prime Minister has become Turkish President Erdogan’s main ally. Seres suspects that the Turkish intervention in Syria and the forced transfer of Arab refugees there from Turkey to replace Kurds amounts to a war crime. He adds that by supporting Turkey, the Hungarian government not only violates basic principles of humanity and Christian values but also alienates itself even more from the EU, NATO and the US.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gábor Megadja, an analyst at the pro-government Századvég think tank, welcomes the government’s intention to follow a sovereign path in foreign policy. He draws a parallel between contemporary liberal-progressives’ ‘post-Socialist political realism’ and the former Communists’ Muscovite foreign policy. In both doctrines, Hungary should uncritically follow its allies and the lead of the strongest great powers rather than its own interests, Megadja contends. He describes uncritical support for the Kurds as a moralizing and ideologically tinted romantic stance. Megadja doubts that declarations condemning Turkey would have had any impact.