István Csurka

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István Csurka
Csurka Istvan.jpg
Csurka at Bookfests in Budapest, June 2011
Member of the National Assembly
In office
2 May 1990 – 28 June 1994
In office
18 June 1998 – 14 May 2002
Chairman of the Hungarian Justice and Life Party
In office
15 July 1993 – 4 February 2012
Preceded by New party
Succeeded by Zoltán Fenyvessy
Personal details
Born (1934-03-27)27 March 1934
Budapest, Hungary
Died 4 February 2012(2012-02-04) (aged 77)
Budapest, Hungary
Nationality Hungarian
Political party MDF (1987–1993)
MIÉP (1993–2012)
Occupation politician
Profession writer

István Csurka (27 March 1934 – 4 February 2012) was a right-wing Hungarian journalist, writer and politician. He was the founder and inaugural leader of the Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIÉP) from 1993 until his death. He was also a Member of Parliament from 1990 to 1994 and from 1998 to 2002.

Biography[edit]

Csurka was born on 27 March 1934 in Budapest as the first son of Péter Csurka, a journalist. His younger brother was László Csurka, an actor and director. He was interned after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 for half-year. After that he was recruited as a III/III agent. In the early 1990s he was among the first to revealed his informant's past. According to him Csurka was under duress to sign the declaration of recruitment during internment.

Founding member of Hungarian Democratic Forum, member of the first elected Parliament of Hungary after the fall of communist-socialist regime. His life before the political transition is multi-sided: renowned novelist and drama-author, a source of critical opinion towards the régime but also an informant to the Hungarian secret police (reluctantly according to him).

Since October 1994, he had been chairman of the small Hungarian right-wing extremist party Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIÉP), which defines itself as a radical national-conservative group, and had the support of 5% of voters at its peak. Csurka himself is publicly associated with verbal anti-Semitism and sees himself as a representative of some 3 million Hungarians who have been separated from the Hungarian federation through the Treaty of Trianon (1920). According to a report in The Independent about the right-wing cultural offensive of early 2012 he was "convinced Zionists are planning to establish a second home in Hungary."[1]

There has always been speculation that he might seek a partnership with the centre-right party of Young Democrats (Fidesz). Its chairman, Viktor Orbán, has denied this repeatedly and publicly rejected any parliamentary support as Prime Minister. After the elections of April 2002 and the victory of the Hungarian Socialist Party, such speculations became irrelevant.

In the fall of 2011, Csurka was named as intendant for Új Színház ("New Theater) in Budapest by the new director, Hungarian actor György Dörner, who is affiliated with the far-right Jobbik party. They were expected to make productions that move away from what Csurka has described as, "the liberal-social-cultural policy... that is so oppressive". Later István Tarlós, the mayor of Budapest asked Dörner to reconsider hiring of Csurka following anti-Semitic screed.[2]

He was hospitalized in January 2012. His last public appearance was in a pro-government demonstration in Szeged. He said that Hungary was threatened by an unprecedented aggression. He also stressed the need to prevent the country from being diverted from the course set by a power backed by a two-thirds majority.[3] Csurka died on 4 February 2012, aged 77, after a long illness.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Independent, 7 January 2011, The Curtain comes down on liberal Hungary, [1]
  2. ^ "Budapest mayor asks theater director to reconsider hiring of Csurka following anti-Semitic screed". Politics.hu. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Pro-government demonstration in Szeged draws ethnic Hungarians from neighboring Serbia". Politics.hu. 15 January 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Meghalt Csurka István" (in Hungarian). Index.hu. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Further bibliography[edit]

  • Csurka István: Vasárnapi jegyzetek. – A Kossuth Rádió Vasárnapi Újság-jában 1987 és 1991 augusztusa között elhangzott jegyzetek. Püski Kiadó Bt. – Magyar Fórum Kiadó Kft.; Bp., 1991. ISBN 963-7845-60-7 .
Party political offices
Preceded by
New party
Chairman of the Hungarian Justice and Life Party
1993–2012
Succeeded by
Zoltán Fenyvessy