The ambassador, who is returning home to retire, told the many guests who had come to bid goodbye that he had spent marvellous days among them. He had taken long walks at Normafa and read fantastic books by authors such as Tibor Déry, Imre Kertész, Ferenc Molnár and Arthur Köstler. He had listened to Bartók Rádió almost every day and enjoyed gulyás leves and somlói galuska, which were “nagyon-nagyon finom”.

Fakılı asked to be allowed to add his sincere impression that Hungarians are extraordinary people: well brought-up, polite, art-loving, hard-working, good-mannered and brilliant. He said the country is fascinating and beautiful.

The ambassador added that he believes a diplomat is not only the diplomat of his own country but also the diplomat of the country where he or she is serving. Now, after living in Hungary for so long, he feels he is already a voluntary promoter of Hungary. He thanked everyone for their friendship and hospitality in the past four years.

On the more formal side of the reception, Fakılı said the Republic of Turkey was founded on the principles of modernity, democracy and independence. Making Turkey a member of the family of civilised nations of the world had been the ultimate goal of its beloved Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (born 1881, founder of the republic and its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938). For the future generations, this would continue to be the basic goal.

Turks believe that they share excellent, deep-rooted, strong and friendly relations with Hungary, Ambassador Fakılı said. Turkey was of those rare nations that had successfully transformed conflicts into a lasting friendship.

The First Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Turkish Embassy in Budapest, Alattin Temür, is also leaving.

See more photos here.

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