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Turkic states show strong interest in Hungary’s diaspora policy

The Turkic states show serious interest in the Hungarian government's diaspora policy, the state secretary for Hungarian communities abroad said in Bishkek on Wednesday.

Arpad Janos Potapi, who represented Hungary as an observer at a conference of ministers and institutional leaders responsible for diaspora affairs of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), said Hungary had received a lot of attention at the event because the Turkic states all had a significant number of citizens living in Russia, western Europe and overseas.

These countries, he said, had grown increasingly interested in recent years in how their diaspora communities could preserve their national identities. They also consider it important to nurture ties with their compatriots living abroad, he added.

Potapi said the Hungarian delegation had given a detailed presentation of how the Hungarian government bears responsibility for Hungarians beyond the border. This, he noted, included the economic support of Hungarians living in the Carpathian Basin and extended to the education, cultural and church life of Hungarians living in other parts of the world.

The state secretary said the feedback Hungary had received indicated that the OTS’s fully-fledged members — Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkiye — were also interested in the simplest way to grant citizenship to their compatriots abroad. He added that he had told them about the new Hungarian institution of the so-called Welcome Office.

Potapi also held bilateral talks with the representatives of the Azeri and Kazakh delegations.

Hungary attended the conference for the second time, having participated in the diaspora conference held in Baku last year.

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