Turok-Hetesh, Vasyl’/Turok-Hetes, Vasil’
Turok-Hetesh, Vasyl’/Turok-Hetes, Vasil’ (b. January 8, 1940, Habura, Slovakia) — teacher, dramatist, and cultural activist of Rusyn national orientation in the Presov Region. Turok-Hetesh completed his secondary studies in Bratislava and went on to Comenius University (1963). For over two decades (1965-1985) he taught Slovak, Russian, philosophy, and aesthetics at the Ukrainian middle (serednia) school in Presov. Since 1985, he has been a dramatist at the *Dukhnovych Theater in Presov, where in the late 1980s he staged plays in Rusyn for the first time.
Following the Revolution of 1989 Turok-Hetesh became the leading figure in the Rusyn national revival in Slovakia. While chairman of the *Rusyn Renaissance Society (1990-1994, 1996-1999) he was instrumental in establishing the weekly Rusyn newspaper *Narodny novynky, a Rusyn program on television program in Slovakia, and a Rusyn division at Presov University. It was also largely through his intervention that a Rusyn orientation was adopted by the Dukhnovych Theater (1990); since then he has translated into Rusyn and staged several plays from the world repertory. As founding chairman (1991-2001) of the *World Congress of Rusyns, Turok-Hetesh successfully convinced Rusyns in Slovakia and in neighboring countries to interact with national minority organizations in other parts of Europe, and he is the executive vice-chairman of the Maison de Pays, an organization based in France that represents stateless peoples.
Paul Robert Magocsi
Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
At the 6-th World Congress of Rusyns in Prague 2001 Turok-Hetesh received the Steven Chepa Rusyn Bear Award in recognition of major achivement in the support of Rusyn Culture.