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Hungarians Or Not? – Recognition Of Szekler People As Independent Ethnic Group Is Harmful, Deputy PM Says

Robert Velkey 2017.08.08.

Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén has labelled a voter initiative seeking the recognition of the Szekler people as an ethnic group independent of the Hungarian nation is “harmful and dangerous”.

Szeklers are Hungarians” and “by the logic of this initiative” Hungarians could further be divided into various other ethnic groups, Semjén told MTI, stressing his opposition to the bid.

The initiative was either submitted “with good intentions” and “based on total incompetence” or “motivated by something worse”, Semjén said, noting that Romanian politics “has long desired to declare” that neither the Csangos nor the Szeklers are Hungarians. He said the bid went against both “historical reality” and Hungary’s national interests.

Hungary’s National Election Committee (NVB) approved the initiative on July 25. From then, the petitioner has 120 days to collect 1,000 supporting signatures for the bid, which will then be reviewed by the National Election Office (NVI). If the signatures are approved, the NVB will seek an opinion on the initiative from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The NVB will then submit the initiative together with the supporting signatures and the academy’s opinion to parliament for a vote.

Although the Szeklers has got their own symbols such as the flag, and “sub-national colors” of their wished autonomy in Transylvania, but they has got a strong Hungarian identity. After the Treaty of Trianon they became the biggest Hungarian minority abroad, as more than 5.000.000 million Hungarians became the habitants of Romania, after the maps were redraw. They are still there as the Encyclopedia Britannica writes: Szekler, Hungarian Székely, member of a people inhabiting the upper valleys of the Mureş and Olt rivers in what was eastern Transylvania and is now Romania.

According to their own tradition, repeated in Procopius’ De bello Gothico, they were descended from Attila’s Huns. It is, however, now generally accepted that they are true Hungarians, or Magyars (or at least the descendants of a Magyarized Turki people), transplanted there to guard the frontier, their name meaning simply “frontier guards.”