Hungarians in romania conflict

Clashes between the Romanian and Hungarian communities in Romania have brought to the fore latent ethnic and sectarian divisions over history and identity that threaten to deepen tensions between the two neighbours. The largely Catholic Hungarian minority has been at odds with the Orthodox Romanian majority and both communities have seen nationalists on both sides clash. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and his Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu spoke on Monday by phone in a bid to calm interethnic tensions between the Bulgarian and Romanian communities in Romania.

Tensions flared up at the Valea Uzului military cemetery in Harghita County, central Romania, with hundreds of Hungarian protestors preventing the inauguration of a Romanian cemetery. The Romanian government had decided to erect 52 concrete crosses and one large Orthodox cross alongside a larger World War One Cemetery, which holds Austrian-Hungarian graves.

The largely Roman Catholic community, composed mainly of Hungarians, found the actions to be provocative. The Hungarian government summoned the Romanian Ambassador to Hungary, who refused to show up.

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Efforts by the Romanian government to make additions to what was previously a Hungarian site are likely to be part of an effort to stamp the authority of the state in areas that it deems as likely seeking autonomy. The Hungarian population of Romania stands at more than 1. The restive population is represented by three main Hungarian parties, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, the Popular Hungarian party in Transylvania, and the Hungarian Civic Party, which in launched a joint bid to demand local autonomy from central authorities.

The Romanian government has viewed the intentions of the Hungarian government with great suspicion. Hungarians living in Romania have demanded that the Hungarian language should be used in areas where 10 percent of the local population speaks the language, as opposed to the current 20 percent. The Romanian government has seen the efforts as a long-term attempt to weaken the central government's control of these areas.

Even though both countries are inside the EU, Romania is not yet in the Schengen Visa-free zone which allows those within the EU to move freely. The Hungarian government has set about providing Hungarians living outside its borders with passports that could help them leave Romania.

Orban and his party have publicly stated that they will continue to support the Hungarian community in Romania, which could only inflame future tensions. Subscribe to our Youtube channel for all latest in-depth, on the ground reporting from around the world. What would you like to learn more about? How the Identitarian Movement is linked with New Zealand mosque terrorist.

What's behind Hungary's protests? Hungary's Viktor Orban and his allies face expulsion vote in Brussels. Fears of further Orthodox Church rifts after Russia-Constantinople split. Slavic carnival wraps up in Czech Republic with costumes and celebrations. Top EU envoy to visit Russia as opposition calls for more rallies. Italy's PM Conte to resign on Tuesday, hopes to form new government. Why are there protests in Russia?Diplomatic tension has flared between Romania and Hungary over a tense standoff between the ethnic Hungarian and Romanian inhabitants of two neighbouring counties in central Romania.

Two regional councils, one dominated by ethnic Hungarians and the other by Romanians have been disputing the right to place crosses for Romanian soldiers in an international war cemetery which contains the remains of soldiers of multiple nationalities from both world wars.

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When a group of ethnic Hungarians formed a cordon trying to prevent a group of Romanians from entering the cemetery for a Heroes Day memorial citing legal reasons, a few individuals from the Romanian group pushed through the police cordon to enter the cemetery by breaking the gate. A massive police presence prevented any significant violence, but the local incident quickly became national news as Romania has not registered inter-ethnic incidents for decades.

This rare incident, in which both local authorities accuse each other while being locked in a legal dispute, caused a diplomatic flare up between the two nations. Korodi said that it was a very controversial situation, that is used for provocation by some extremist groups and Romanian nationalist politicians. They were spitting, throwing stones, fighting with the police. On other side, Romanian voices said the Hungarians had no legal or moral right from preventing the Romanians organising from a memorial for the Romanian soldiers in the cemetery in the first place.

The Hungarian foreign ministry summoned the Romanian ambassador to protest against this incident, but he refused the invitation, which according to the ministry, is unprecedented in diplomacy. Hungary also claims that the Romanian police did not prevent the incident, whereas the Romanian judiciary announced that it opened a criminal investigation against the individuals who broke the gates. Bucharest, in turn, accused Budapest of fanning tensions by giving a "distorted presentation of the situation" in its public statements and on social media, with the foreign ministry calling for an end to "provocations and the escalation of tensions".

The Romanian Foreign Ministry said that its minister asked his Hungarian counterpart to send a message to the Hungarian community in Romania to avoid any further escalation and that the Romanian authorities took all measures to prevent any further incidents.

According to the Romanian Memories of Heroes Office, there are Romanian soldiers buried in the Uz-valley cemetery and Hungarian soldiers. This content is not available in your region. Text size Aa Aa.It started as a Romanian military campaign on the eastern parts of the self-disarmed Kingdom of Hungary on 13 Novemberand continued against the First Hungarian Republicand from March against the Hungarian Soviet Republic. The Romanian Army occupied large parts of Hungary until 28 Marchwhen eventually retreated back to the demarcation lines.

Inthe Austro-Hungarian monarchy politically collapsed and disintegrated as a result of its defeat on the Italian Front World War I. President Woodrow Wilson 's demand for pacifism by ordering the disarmament of the Hungarian army. Six days later, on 5 Novemberthe Serbian Armywith the help of the French Armycrossed the southern border of the Kingdom of Hungary.

On 8 November, the Czechoslovak Army crossed the northern border, and on 13 November, the Romanian Army crossed the eastern border.

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It limited the size of the Hungarian army to six infantry and two cavalry divisions. The lines would apply until definitive borders could be established. Under the terms of the armistice, Serbian and French troops advanced from the south, taking control of the Banat and Croatia. Czechoslovakia took control of Upper Hungary and Carpathian Ruthenia.

Days later the Communists purged the Social Democrats from the government. The Communists remained bitterly unpopular [19] in the Hungarian countryside, where the authority of that government was often nonexistent. The communist government followed the Soviet model: the party established its terror groups like the infamous Lenin Boys to "overcome the obstacles" in the Hungarian countryside.

This was later known as the Red Terror in Hungary. The new government promised equality and social justice. It proposed that Hungary be restructured as a federation. The proposal was designed to appeal to both domestic and foreign opinion.

Domestic considerations included maintaining the territorial integrity and economic unity of former crown landsand protecting the nation's borders. The government had popular support and the support of the army.

Most of the officers in the Hungarian army came from regions that had been forcibly occupied during World War I.

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This heightened their patriotic mood. In addition, self-governed and self-directed institutions for the non-Magyar peoples of Hungary would lessen the dominance of the Magyar people.Please refresh the page and retry. S ometimes, the world can seem set in stone. You can gaze at the map and believe that it has always been that way - that the border which divides one country from another has always followed this mountain ridge or that river; that one celebrated place has always been aligned with the state of which it is declared a part; that a certain region, heavily associated with one nation, has always been a stitch in that particular tapestry.

You might certainly think this of Transylvania. There can be few segments of the European landmass which seem more closely linked to their domestic mothership. You might even argue that Transylvania is Romania, that Romania is Transylvania - a totemic emblem which defines the country in international eyes. True, the area's image - all cape-swishing Draculas and sharp-turretted castles on lonely crags - may be a little on the Halloween side of things, but it is inseparable from the general perception of Romania; a tattoo on Bucharest's arm which cannot be erased.

And yet, leaving aside questions of population and ethnicity, Transylvania has only been officially tied to Romania for a century. Indeed, an exact years ago, in the mists of Januaryit was, effectively, still in the process of becoming Romanian - soldiers inching west across its forested, furrowed contours, eating into terrain that was nominally Hungarian.

The era of outsiders considering this enclave of vampiric legend and Gothic reputation to be a symbol of all things Romanian was still decades into the future although Bram Stoker's famous novel had been in print for 22 years, the broader silver-screen treatment that would turn Dracula into the stuff of global nightmares was not yet even a spark in the Hollywood directorial consciousness.

Instead, the wider world did not look to Transylvania with much fascination at all. It was, rather, a region with no proper national identity; a bone for which several dogs had been prepared to fight - only without the strength to claim their prize conclusively. Of course, it was not alone in this.

hungarians in romania conflict

The European pages of the atlas changed hugely in the second decade of the 20th century, as the firestorm of the First World War burned away a sizeable swathe of the old world and replaced it with something freshly etched.

New and reconfigured states - Poland and Czechoslovakia among them - would emerge as the bullets and brutality of killed off the two empires which had held much of the continent in their grip.

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The Austro-Hungarian realm which had extended its reach far beyond Vienna and Budapest was consigned to the past; so was the Ottoman sphere of influence, which had stretched its hands up from Constantinople Istanbulinto the Balkans and beyond, for almost six centuries.

Transylvania, which had long been caught between the two, found itself on the verge of a different dawn. Romania itself was hardly a concrete piece of the European jigsaw as appeared. Although various parts of what now constitutes the modern country - Wallachia and Moldavia, as well as Transylvania - had existed as principalities since medieval times, a Romanian state of sorts had only really solidified in the late 19th century.

Moldavia and Wallachia had both been under the Ottoman boot, but as the Turkish super-state entered its twilight years, so the pair had torn themselves free - initially, inas the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, a halfway house still under Ottoman suzerainty; later, inas the independent Kingdom of Romania.

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It was still holding this precarious position when arrived, and the globe was spilled into the inferno.Most ethnic Hungarians of Romania live in areas that were, before the Treaty of Trianonparts of Hungary. There are forty-one counties of Romania ; Hungarians form a large majority of the population in the counties of Harghita The Principality of Transylvania was governed by its princes and its parliament Diet.

With the defeat of the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna inthe Habsburg Monarchy gradually began to impose their rule on the formerly autonomous Transylvania. After quashing the revolutionthe Austrian Empire imposed a repressive regime on Hungary and ruled Transylvania directly through a military governor and abolished the Unio Trium Nationum and granted citizenship to ethnic Romanians [ clarification needed ].

Later, the compromise of established the Austria-Hungary and Transylvania became integral part of the Kingdom of Hungary again, with Hungarian becoming the official language, as well the policy of Magyarization affected the region.

hungarians in romania conflict

As a result, the more than 1. Historian Keith Hitchins [9] summarizes the situation created by the award: Some 1, to 1, Romanians, or 48 per cent to over 50 per cent of the population of the ceded territory, depending upon whose statistics are used, remained north of the new frontier, while aboutHungarians other Hungarian estimates go as high asRomanian as low ascontinued to reside in the south.

After the war, ina Magyar Autonomous Region was created in Romania by the communist authorities. The region was dissolved inwhen a new administrative organization of the country still in effect today replaced regions with counties. In the aftermath of the Romanian Revolution ofethnic-based political parties were constituted by both the Hungarians, who founded the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romaniaand by the Romanian Transylvanians, who founded the Romanian National Unity Party.

Ina basic treaty on the relations between Hungary and Romania was signed. In the treaty, Hungary renounced all territorial claims to Transylvania, and Romania reiterated its respect for the rights of its minorities. Relations between the two countries improved as Romania and Hungary became EU members in the s.

The aim of the UDMR is to achieve local government, cultural and territorial autonomy and the right to self-determination for Hungarians. Sincethe UDMR has been a member or supporter of every governmental coalition. Even though Romania co-signed the European laws for protecting minorities' rights, the implementation has not proved satisfactory to all members of Hungarian community. There is a movement by Hungarians both for an increase in autonomy and distinct cultural development.

However, the situation of the Hungarian minority in Romania has been seen by some as a model of cultural and ethnic diversity in the Balkan area: [10] In an address to the American people, President Clinton asked in the midst of the air war in Kosovo : Who is going to define the future of this part the world Several ethnic Hungarians [12] have won Olympic medals for Romania. The Csango settled there between the 13th and 15th centuries and today, they are the only Hungarian-speaking ethnic group living to the east of the Carpathians.

The ethnic background of Csango is nevertheless disputed, since, due to its active connections to the neighboring Polish kingdom and to the Papal Statesthe Roman Catholic faith persisted in Moldavia throughout medieval times, long after Vlachs living in other Romanian provinces, closer to the Bulgarian Empirehad been completely converted to Eastern-Rite Christianity.

Some Csango claim having Hungarian ancestry while others claim Romanian ancestry. The Hungarian-speaking Csangos have been subject to some violations of basic minority rights: Hungarian-language schools have been closed down over time, their political rights have been suppressed and they have even been subject to slow, forced nationalisation by various Romanian governments over the years, because the Romanian official institutions deem Csangos as a mere Romanian population that was Magyarized in certain periods of time.

The number of Hungarian social and cultural organizations in Romania has greatly increased after the fall of communism, with more than being documented a few years ago.

While in the past the import of books was hindered, now there are many bookstores selling books written in Hungarian. A new TV station entitled "Transylvania" is scheduled to start soon, the project is funded mostly by Hungary but also by Romania and EU and other private associations. There are currently around 60 Hungarian-language press publications receiving state support from the Romanian Government. While their numbers dropped as a consequence of economic liberalisation and competition, there are many others private funded by different Hungarian organizations.

Hungary and Romania face off over an ethnic dispute

According to Romania's minority rights law, Hungarians have the right to education in their native language, including as a medium of instruction. On the other hand, the ratio of Hungarians graduating from higher education is lower than the national average. The reasons are diverse, including a lack of enough native-language lecturers, particularly in areas without a significant proportion of Hungarians.According to itthon.

The Romanian government claimed then that nothing violent happened while. Many Transylvanian and Hungarian news outlets said that the leader of the gendarmerie supposed to prevent the clash between Romanian nationalists and Hungarian civilians was instead organising the attack of the Romanian nationalists. All speakers of last Friday hailed those Romanian nationalists who managed to get into the cemetery in June and called them heroes.

After singing the Romanian national anthem, the celebration continued with orthodox liturgy followed by reading out the names of those Romanian soldiers who died there during WWII. Henceforward, all who took part lit torches and marched towards the newly erected memorial of the fallen servicemen. Need more? Or you need something non-political? Typical Hungarian propaganda.

hungarians in romania conflict

It is the exact opposite as stated in this post. The cemetery in question is Romanian which the hungarian minority profaned. This is part of the reason why Hungarians do not get alone with their neighbors. Hungarian propaganda. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Jeep of the Romanian army on the military parade of 1st December Photo: www.

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Diplomatic tensions flare between Romania and Hungary after cemetery incident

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Special Hungary.For Bucharest, exchanging accusations with Hungary offers an opportunity to temporarily distract attention from its domestic situation. The country is emerging from the political crisis that engulfed it in caused by a dispute between Ponta and President Traian Basescu, writes Stratfor.

Corlatean was referring to Hungary's decision to raise the flag of the Szekely Land — the region where a subgroup of ethnic Hungarians live in Romania — at the parliament in Budapest. This is the most recent incident, but the historical divisions between the two countries date back centuries. Most of the territories of modern-day Hungary and Romania at one point were under Ottoman and later Habsburg rule.

The Carpathian Mountains are the main geographical feature in the region, and the official border between the two nations has repeatedly moved from one side of the mountains to the other since the Middle Ages. The most recent significant redefinition of borders took place after World War I with the Treaty of Trianon, under which Hungary lost two-thirds of its territory to its neighbors, including Transylvania to Romania. As a result, Hungarians became the largest minority group in Romania.

The forgotten war which made Transylvania Romanian

According to the census, there are about 1. Half the Hungarians living in Romania are Szekelys, a Hungarian-speaking subgroup living mostly in what is known as the Szekely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania. From the Middle Ages through the midth century, the region enjoyed varying degrees of autonomy, until the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of and several administrative reforms in the s abolished all the autonomous areas in the Kingdom of Hungary, including Szekely Land.

After World War II, the Romanian government created a Hungarian Autonomous Region in the Szekely Land, which existed from until when the Communist government reformed the administrative divisions of the country to eliminate any identification of regions by ethnic or cultural divisions. Following the fall of Communism, Romania's subsequent democratic governments preserved the administrative division of the country, which led to the creation of several initiatives by ethnic Hungarians who wanted to re-establish autonomy.

The political representation of the ethnic Hungarians in the country is fragmented, with three relatively small parties courting the votes of ethnic Hungarians. The largest of the three is the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, a party that is often represented in parliament and has been part of governing coalitions.

The Democratic Union and other Hungarian groups staged peaceful demonstrations in Romania indemanding greater political decentralization as a first step toward autonomy.

Ethnic Hungarian minorities in Romania are often used as a political issue by the governments in both Hungary and Romania. Hostility to the Treaty of Trianon is at the foundation of Hungarian nationalism, which calls for the restitution of the territories that were lost after World War I. Budapest also has used the ethnic minority issue as a lever to assert its influence abroad. In Maythe Hungarian Parliament decided to give ethnic Hungarians who live outside the country the right to claim Hungarian nationality as a second citizenship — which potentially includes the right to vote.

This move caused tensions with Romania and Slovakia, which also acquired formerly Hungarian territory through the Treaty of Trianon and with it, a substantial Hungarian population. On 3 February, Romanian officials in Covasna and Harghita counties two of the three counties with a substantial Szekely population banned the hoisting of the Szekely flag atop office buildings.

In response, Hungary's ambassador to Romania expressed his support for Szekely autonomy on national television.

hungarians in romania conflict

A few days later, Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen encouraged local governments to hang the Szekely flag in solidarity with the Hungarian minorities in Romania. Romanian officials denounced these actions as interference by Hungarian politicians in domestic Romanian affairs. Such tensions between Hungary and Romania are not unusual, and typically have not significantly hindered relations between the two countries.

Hungary, for example, supported the entry of Romania into the European Union in The two countries are also important trading partners. Indeed, some officials have attempted to downplay any strain in ties, with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta on 18 February denying the existence of problems between Bucharest and Budapest.

However, the dispute over the Szekely Land comes at a unique moment. Both Hungary and Romania are feeling the consequences of the economic crisis in Europe.

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