For 150 years in the 16th–17th century the central part of Hungary remained under the Turkish occupation. According to the Hungarian historiography, the results of this occupation were tragic. National ideology interpreted the fight against the Turks as the Hungarian and European mission. The history of the city of Pécs proves something else. By changing its religious and cultural identity, it became a regional trade centre of the northern periphery of the Turkish Empire, and entered the so-called Ottoman golden age. Some characters, like Bektashi dervishes, developed specific religious and cultural syncretism. Viktor Horváth abandons patriotic patterns in his debut novel; he shows the city of Pécs as part of the Ottoman Empire from the point of view of the Muslim narrator. He constructs the narrative on history and cultural identity of this city, which considerably differs from the national narrative.
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