On Thursday, Defence Ministers of the two countries met in Budapest to discuss the strengthening of defence cooperation between Turkey and Hungary.
Speaking at a press briefing held in the Ministry of Defence after the discussion, Minister of Defence István Simicskó emphasized that a stable and strong Turkey is in Hungary’s interest as well.
As he said, a main topic of discussion was mass illegal migration and the threats posed by it, including terrorism.
The Minister thanked his Turkish counterpart for all the efforts his country made in recent years to deal with these issues in the interest of the security of Europe and Hungary.
István Simicskó explained that these days Turkey hosts four million migrants. Since the start of the migration crisis situation, some 270 thousand Syrian children have been born in Turkey.
He also said that Turkey has considerable experience in the fight against terrorism. Accordingly, it is in our best interest to strengthen cooperation between the secret services of the two countries.
Among our allies, Turkey is the country with one of the most powerful militaries, István Simicskó said, adding that they have agreed to enhance cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries in joint exercises, education and training.
István Simicskó also said that the Hungarian Defence Forces – which are celebrating their 170th anniversary this year – now have prospects of historic development. He told his Turkish counterpart that a 10-year development plan has been drawn up, a key element of which is the development of Hungarian defence industry. He added that Turkey has a substantial defence industry, so Hungary counts on the Turkish experts’ knowledge and expertise too, and that they also discussed the possibilities for defence industry cooperation between the two countries.
Touching on the historical past of the two countries, the ministers also talked about World War I memorials. István Simicskó said that the Turkish Minister of National Defence offered that already this year, a worthy memorial place could be inaugurated at Gallipoli, where a Hungarian unit once fought alongside the Turkish army.
Turkish Minister of National Defence Nurettin Canikli called Budapest one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and Hungary a strong and friendly ally in the framework of NATO.
“The Turkish nation is a close friend of the Hungarian nation”, he said, adding that there are no problems between these two nations, and there will not be any in the future either.
The Turkish minister said that the two countries share the same views on current issues. Turkey supports Hungary’s position on illegal migration, Nurettin Canikli stated.
Turkey is doing its best to reduce the pressure of illegal migration on Hungary. Therefore, cooperation between the two countries will be further strengthened in this field too, the Turkish minister emphasized, adding that the fight against illegal migration and terrorism requires strong efforts.
Nurettin Canikli said that Turkey has been fighting terrorism and its spread for 40 years. The Turkish armed forces are currently fighting against terrorists and will continue this fight until they clear all affected areas of terrorists, the minister stated.