Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó Opens the First Exhibition on the History of Hungarian-Turkish Football Relations

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó opened the exhibition Brothers on the Green Pitch – Together and Against Each Other at the Hungarian Cultural Center in Istanbul. The exhibition – created through the cooperation of the Cultural Center, the Hungarian National Museum of Olympics and Sports and the Gül Baba Tomb Heritage Foundation – introduces visitors to the legacy of the Hungarian players and managers who have contributed to the development of Turkish football since the early 20th century.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó opened the unique exhibition in the presence of the Secretary General of the Turkic Council Baghdad Amreyev, President of the Board of the Gül Baba Tomb Heritage Foundation Adnan Polat, and Director of the Hungarian National Museum of Olympics and Sports Lajos Szabó. In his speech, Mr. Szijjártó underlined that sport is a very important part of Hungarian-Turkish cooperation, that plays a crucial role in strengthening national identities. Péter Szijjártó also greeted the legendary football player and coach – former manager of the Turkish national team – Kálmán Mészöly on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Following the speech of the Minister, Adnan Polat, President of the Board of the Gül Baba Tomb Heritage Foundation and former President of the football club Galatasaray drew attention to the fact that Gül Baba, a well-known figure also in Hungary, was the founder of the Galatasaray School in the 15th century, where the football club Galatasaray also originates from. Lajos Szabó, curator and Director of the Hungarian National Museum of Olympics and Sports, highlighted the important role of Hungarian players and coaches in the football life of Turkey.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó at the exhibition opening

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó at the exhibition opening

In addition to giving an insight into the Hungarian coaches and players who worked in Turkey from the beginning of the last century, the exhibition also commemorates the legendary fixtures between the national teams and the clubs of the two countries. The exhibition also includes invaluable relics such as the cup of the Austrian-Hungarian football match in support of the injured Turkish soldiers on the Galician Front or three cups lent by the museum of the football club Fenerbahçe, which were all won when Hungarians coached the team. Teqball, a Hungarian football invention, that is already played in 110 countries around the world, is also on display and can also be tried by visitors.

The exhibition, cooperation of Hungarian and Turkish experts, can be visited until the end of August in the Hungarian Cultural Center in Istanbul. After Istanbul further exhibitions are planned in Ankara, Izmir, and Budapest.