|Municipality and Town|
|• Mayor||Vuk Radojević|
|• Municipality||487 km2 (188 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+381 21|
Bečej (Serbian: Бечеј, Bečej, pronounced [bɛ̌tʃɛːj], Hungarian: Óbecse, pronounced [ˈoːbɛtʃɛ], Rusyn: Бечей, Croatian: Bečej, German: Altbetsche, Romanian: Becei, Turkish: Beçe) is a town and municipality located in the South Bačka District in Vojvodina, Serbia. The town has a population of 23,895, while Bečej municipality has 37,351 inhabitants. It is multiethnic town, with Serbs (44.25%) and Hungarians (43.20%) as largest ethnic groups (2011 census).
- 1 History
- 2 Inhabited places
- 3 Demographics (2011 census)
- 4 Historical population of the town
- 5 Politics
- 6 Notable people
- 7 International relations
- 8 Sports
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Bečej village was mentioned first during the administration of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1091 under Latin name Bechey and later in 1238 under Hungarian name Becse. Name probably originated from Bechey family that had possessions in this area. In the 15th century (from 1419 to 1441) the town was a possession of the Serbian despot Đurađ Branković. In the end of the 15th century, army of the Kingdom of Hungary led by Serbian despot Vuk Grgurević (Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk) defeated the Ottoman army near Bečej. In 1551, Ottoman army led by Muslim Serb Mehmed paša Sokolović conquered the town. Bečej was administered by the Ottomans between 1551 and 1687 (nominally to 1699) and was part of the Sanjak of Segedin and Budin eyalet. In Ottoman Turkish it was known as "Beçe".
In the end of the 17th century the Ottoman administration was replaced by Habsburg one and settlement was populated by ethnic Serbs from Banat who ran away from the Ottoman Empire. Between 1702 and 1751, the town belonged to the Tisa-Mureş section of the Habsburg Military Frontier. After the abolishment of this part of the Frontier in 1751, many Serbs that lived in the town emigrated to Russia (notably to New Serbia and Slavo-Serbia). They founded a new settlement with name Bečej in New Serbia. To prevent this emigration, the Habsburg authorities formed autonomous District of Potisje with seat in Bečej. District of Potisje existed between 1751 and 1848. The three privileges were given to the district in 1759, 1774 and 1800. First privilege of the District defined its autonomous status, while the second one allowed ethnic Hungarians to settle in the district. In the following period many Hungarians settled in Bečej (the first ones in 1757) and they replaced Serbs as a dominant nation in the town. In 1751, the entire population of the town was composed of Serbs, while in 1774 half of the population was composed of Serbs and another half was composed of Hungarians. According to the 1910 census, the population of Bečej municipality numbered 54,275 people, of whom 30,465 spoke Hungarian and 22,821 Serbian. The town of Bečej had 19,372 inhabitants in 1910, of which 12,488 spoke Hungarian (64.46%), 6,582 Serbian (33.98%) and 193 German (1%).
Serb elementary school in Bečej was opened in 1703 and it is one of the oldest schools in Vojvodina as well as the first elementary school among Serbs. Hungarian elementary school was opened in Bečej in 1765, while Jewish elementary school was opened in 1882. Serb reading house was opened in 1862, while Hungarian reading house was opened in 1869.
Since 1918, Bečej was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and subsequent South Slavic states. During the Hungarian Axis occupation, in the 1942 raid, 215 inhabitants of the town were murdered by Hungarian forces, of whom 111 were men, 72 women, 13 children, and 19 old people. By nationality, victims included 110 Jews, 102 Serbs, and 1 Hungarian.
Bečej municipality includes the town of Bečej and the following villages:
- Bačko Gradište (Hungarian: Bácsföldvár)
- Bačko Petrovo Selo (Hungarian: Péterréve)
- Mileševo (Hungarian: Kutaspuszta and Drea)
- Radičević (Also known as Čikerija)
Note: for settlements with absolute or relative Hungarian majority names are also given in Hungarian.
There are also several sub-settlements in the municipality, including:
- Poljanice (Hungarian: Pecesor)
- Novo Selo
Demographics (2011 census)
Bečej is an ethnically mixed town and municipality. The breakdown of the ethnic groups in Bečej town and municipality is the following:
Ethnic groups in the Bečej town
- Serbs = 10,574 (44.25%)
- Hungarians = 10,323 (43.20%)
- Roma = 337 (1.41%)
- Others and undeclared = 2661 (11.14%)
Ethnic groups in the Bečej municipality
- Hungarians = 17,309 (46.34%)
- Serbs = 15,451 (41.37%)
- Roma = 842 (2.25%)
- Others and undeclared = 3,749 (10.04%)
Settlements by ethnic majority
Settlements with a Hungarian ethnic majority are: Bačko Petrovo Selo (Hungarian: Péterréve) and Mileševo (Hungarian: Kutaspuszta and Drea). There is one settlement with a Serb ethnic majority: Radičević. Two settlements: Bečej (Hungarian: Óbecse) and Bačko Gradište (Hungarian: Bácsföldvár) are ethnically mixed, with the largest ethnic group there being the Hungarians.
Languages in the Bečej municipality
Languages spoken in the Bečej municipality include:
Historical population of the town
- 1910: 19,372
- 1961: 24,963
- 1971: 26,722
- 1981: 27,102
- 1991: 26,634
- 2011: 23,907
Results of 2008 local elections in Bečej municipality: 
- Hungarian Coalition - Pásztor István - Sándor Pál - 6.366 votes- 29.63% - 13 seats
- Movement for Bečej - Dušan Jovanović - 3.859 votes- 22,22% - 8 seats
- For a European municipality of Bečej - Boris Tadić - Budislav Medurić - 3.646 votes- 16,97% - 7 seats
- Coalition "Serbian Unity for Bečej" - SRS - DSS - NS - Dragan Živkov Džaja - 3.236 votes- 15.06% - 6 seats
- Kao jedna kuća - Mint egy ház (As One Home) - Goran Sadžakov - 1.128 votes- 5.25% - 2 seats
- List "For Our Municipality" - Coalition of PUPS and CG "Successful People" - Milovanov Živko Braca - 756 votes- 3.25%
- Liberal Democratic Party - Old Bečej - New people - Čedomir Jovanović - 732 votes- 3.41%
- Movement for Turn-Over - Jovan Ječanski Jole - 673 votes- 3.13%
- Socialist Party of Serbia - Dr Zora Apić - 627 votes - 2.92%
Municipality Assembly, counting 36 members, according to party's membership:
- Movement for Bečej (Pokret za Bečej - PzB) - Dušan Jovanović - 8 delegates (now in Democratic party)
- Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (Savez vojvođanskih Mađara - SVM) - 6 delegates
- Serbian Radical Party (Srpska radikalna stranka - SRS) - 5 delegates
- Democratic Fellowship of Vojvodina Hungarians (Demokratska zajednica vojvođanskih Mađara - DZVM)- 5 delegates
- Democratic Party (Demokratska stranka - DS) - 4 delegates
- As One Home (Kao jedna kuća - Mint egy ház) - 2 delegates
- Democratic Party of Vojvodina Hungarians (Demokratska stranka vojvođanskih Mađara - DSVM)- 2 delegates
- G17 Plus - 2 delegates (now in Democratic party)
- League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (Liga socijaldemokrata Vojvodine - LSV) - 1 delegate
- Democratic Party of Serbia (Demokratska stranka Srbije - DSS) - 1 delegate
Local Government consists of: Movement for Bečej (now Democratic party), Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, Democratic Party of Vojvodina Hungarians, League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina, Democratic Party and G17 Plus (now Democratic party). Local Parliament's Speaker is Dušan Jovanović (PzB - now DS). Mayor is Péter Knézi (SVM), and his deputy is Budislav Medurić (DS). Members of Municipality Council are: György Ricz (SVM - Health and Social Work), István Acsai (SVM - Local Communities and Civil Organizations), Ilona Varnyú (DSVM - Education and Culture), Dušan Radivojević (PzB - now DS - Economy and Investment), András Boja (PzB - now DS - Agriculture), Marjan Radičević (G17 Plus - now DS - National Investment Plan), Pál Sándor (LSV - Relations of National and Religious Communities) i Dragan Mesaroš (DS - Small and Medium Enterprises)
- Janika Balázs (Janika Balaž), Hungarian-speaking ethnic Romani tamburica musician; Grew up here.
- Eufimija Jović, baroness.
- Melinda Nadj Abonji, writer and musician
- Dejan Perić, Serbian handball player
- Aleksandar Popović Sandor, first Serb geologist.
- Stevan Popović, Serb cultural worker, publisher, parliamentarian.
- Miloš Šarčev, bodybuilder.
- Károly Than, chemist.
- Mór Than, painter.
- Таnja Banjanin, pop singer.
- Aleksandar Maćašev, artist and designer.
- Dunja Stajic, politician and bachata dancer.
- Emeric Feher, French photographer.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Bečej is twinned with:
- Municipalities of Serbia
- List of places in Serbia
- List of cities, towns and villages in Vojvodina
- South Bačka District
- Fantast Castle - 19th-century castle in the vicinity of Bečej
- Slobodan Ćurčić, Broj stanovnika Vojvodine, Novi Sad, 1996.
- Zvonimir Golubović, Racija u južnoj Bačkoj 1942. godine, Novi Sad, 1991.
- Jovan Mirosavljević, Brevijar ulica Novog Sada 1745-2001, Novi Sad, 2002.
- "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in The Republic of Serbia: Age and Sex – Data by settlements". Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2012. ISBN 978-86-6161-023-3. Retrieved 2013-09-11.
- "Körmendi Ferenc". Szgnye.vmmi.org. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- "Internet prezentacija Beceja i Novog Beceja - Istorija Beceja". Backabanat.com. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- Dr Slobodan Ćurčić, Naselja Bačke - geografske karakteristike, Novi Sad, 2007, page 243.
- Óbecse. Révai nagy lexikona, vol. 14. p. 627. Hungarian Electronic Library. (in Hungarian).
- "Južnobački Okrug Srbija, Vodič kroz Srbiju, Go Serbia goserbia.rs, Srbija na 011info.com". 381info.com. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- Zvonimir Golubović, Racija u Južnoj Bačkoj 1942. godine, Novi Sad, 1992, page 147.
- "Population by ethnicity – Bečej". Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (SORS). Retrieved 23 February 2013.
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