Hungarian King Thokoly Imre
Our history is full of glorious victories, examples to many civilizations and lessons for humanity. Hungarian King Thokoly Imre who lived in Izmit 300 years ago is one of these. Famous Hungarian king's representational grave today is located in Tokeli Imre house established by Kocaeli Municipality inside SEKAPARK area. Representational grave to which tourists show great interest, is also a symbol of Turkish - Hungarian friendship.
Representational grave - monument which was reconstructed by Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality especially attracts the deep interest of Hungarian tourists. Protestant sect of Christianity, has met intensive pressure of Catholic Church after its emergence in Middle Europe. In this period, inquisitions so brutal that they reminded the Europe of Middle Ages, started again. Hungarian, Polish and German Christians who became Protestants took refuge in Ottoman state and while they lived in safety in Turkish castles in the boundaries, their kings and princes came to the capital of the period , Istanbul, and asked Sultan's and Grand vizier's help. Europe's pressure to force the Orthodox and protestants Hungarians to become Catholics by means of inquisition courts reached unbearable dimensions. Therefore one of those who seeked help from Turkish was the son of Middle Hungary Governor Prince Thokoly Imre. Imre, was born in 1657 in Kesmark. He was the king of the Hungarians under the administration of Austria. Protestants did not accept the proposal of the Austrian emperor to change into Catholic sect, and they rioted in 1673 with Thokoly Imre as their leader, against the Austrian Empire which occupided Hungary in that period. Thokoly Imre, applied to Koprulu Fazıl Ahmed Paşa and informed his wish to enter the protection of Ottoman. Grand Vizier Koprulu Fazıl Ahmed Paşa who did not wish to destroy the peace with Austria, did not give a positive reply. Thokoly Imre, continued his war and by taking Upper and Middle Hungary has declared himself as the king. However when he was not successful against Austrian and Poland armies, he took refuge in Ottoman State. Thokoly Imre, when most of his advocates left him, he repeated the same offer he made to Fazıl Ahmed Paşa, this tine in, 1681 to Kara Mustafa Paşa. He has sent him gifts and established a close relationship. Thokoly Imre was given the title Middle Hungarian King. With the armies he received from Turkish people he took hold of many Austrian castles.
Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Paşa, appointed Budin (Budapest) Governor Uzun ibrahim Paşa as chief commander and gave him the duty of making Imre Thokoly Middle Hungary's head. ibrahim Paşa, by capturing the capital of Middle Hungary Kaşav, declared Thokoly Imre as king once more in 1682. He fought against Austrians, heading the Hungarian army in the 2nd siege of Vienna together with Ottoman Army. However, after he was defeated by the Polish army which circumvented Ottoman Army in the back King Imre's army was defeated. He Surrendered to Austrians in 1688. After he was free he served in the Ottoman Army during Otoman-Sacret allies Wars. He entered Transylvania leading Turkish and Tatar armies, and defeated German army. As the result of this success Thokoly Imre was given the title of Prince of Transylvania (Romania).
However, after Zenta defeat, he again took refuge in the Ottoman State and went to izmit. In Karlowitz peace discussions, Austrians wanted Thokoly Imre t be delivered to them, to be hanged, Ottoman State did not accept this. He continued to live in Kocaeli, in Karatepe village. Thokoly Imre died in 1705 in izmit. Mausoleum built on his name, was renovated by Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, and also forms a symbol of boundless tolerance and benevolence of Turkish nation and consists of an example to the world. Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, has established a Turkish Hungarian Friendship Museum in SEKAPARK in cooperation with Hungarian State. In the museum historical Turkish-Hungarian relationship and the personal items of Thokoly Imre are displayed. Museum opened by Hungarian and Turkish Ministries of Culture, is being visited with great interest.