Gábor Vona: "If you ask me: east or west; I say both"
Jobbik's president has been to Kazakhstan to attend the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries, and he doesn't mind at all if some people frown upon it. As he puts it, the idea is not to choose between East and West but to establish a harmonious unity within the divided Hungarian nation. Our brief interview reveals how Turkic nations view us, "Atilla's grandchildren".
Alfahír.hu: As a member of the Hungarian National Assembly's official delegation, you participated in the 6th plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA) in Astana, Kazakhstan. What can you tell us about this relatively young organization, which is not quite well-known in Europe?
Gábor Vona: This initiative comprises Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Kyrgyzstan. Hungary joined the other four countries as a member with an observer's status. Perhaps the best way to describe it for Hungarian readers is to say that it is an international Turanic organization. Its objective is to implement the international cooperation of the states in question in basically all areas including security policy, economy, culture, legal issues and environment protection. Our observer status is a great opportunity to get an insight into the matters of the Turkic world as well as to identify cultural, economic and political prospects there.
Photo: Gábor Vona's Facebook page
- Why was it so important for you to attend the meeting personally?
- I've always expressed how important the Turanic idea as the eastern origin of the Hungarian nation is for me. If you ask me: east or west; I say both. My answer is the same for the question: St. Stephen or Koppány. In my opinion, the past plight of the Hungarian nation was largely due to its inability to dissolve its inherent divisions and integrate them into a harmonious unity. Consider the era of the Arpad House kings with our eastern origin and western integration co-existing peacefully. During that time we were strong but when the two turned against each other, we became weak. The Hungarian nation will not have a future unless it can once again unite this duality within. In other words, if it stops viewing this dichotomy as a contradiction and begins to see it as two inter-complementary components. In the past centuries, our eastern origin was forcefully eradicated from our nation's soul and I believe it must be restored.
- Opening to the East?
-That's an economic process. What I am talking about is an intellectual-cultural one. In other words, it is much deeper and more important. By the way, building economic ties may not be successful unless we complete the process I mentioned. So that's why I attended the TURKPA meeting and I don't regret it at all. I see great opportunities in this cooperation and I don't really mind if many people frown upon it or mock me about it. I know that time will prove me right."
Photo: Gábor Vona's Facebook page
- What meetings did the Hungarian delegation have and what achievements can you report?
-The Hungarian delegation was led by Mme. Márta Mátrai, the First Officer of the Parliament. I believe we complemented each other quite well, and not just because she's in the government party while I am in opposition. We were received with great appreciation, since these countries consider us as their relatives drifted to the West. We had negotiations with each delegation and there were countless informal meetings as well. The process has just begun, since it was only the second time for us to be there. I must also say thanks to Sándor Lezsák who managed to achieve an observer status for Hungary last year.
- It is an increasingly prominent concept that Hungarians have several related nations in Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, but do those people actually know this concept? How do they look upon Hungarians?
- As I said, their origins are very important for them since many of these states have just recently gained their independence. To be Hungarian among them gives an almost inconceivable emotion of pride. Sometimes I even feel that the glory comes too easy: all you need to say is that you're Hungarian, you’re Atilla's grandson, and people start hugging you and taking photos with you. Nowhere else are we Hungarians given this feeling.
- How does your trip fit into Jobbik's foreign policy strategy? Can the friendship with the Central Asian Turkic nations co-exist with the Russian and Turkish policy?
- It's not quite easy now but I sincerely hope that the Turkish-Russian conflict will end soon. I have expressed several times that Hungary must establish its foreign policy in a Germany-Russia-Turkey triangle. Two points of this triangle have just turned against each other, which is no good for us. By the way, Kazakhstan is in a similar situation as we are in this regard. They offered to act as mediators to reconcile the two parties. Perhaps we should do so, too.
Alfahír.hu - Jobbik.com