The Fortress of Kars

The city and fortress of Kars, situated in Northeast Turkey in the foregrounds of the Caucasus Mountains, has important connections with Hungarian history. Many Hungarian immigrants served here as military officers of the Anatolian Army during the Crimean War (1853-56): Richárd Guyon, György Kmety, József Kholman, Lajos Tüköry, István Türr. In addition to Richard Guyon (Hurşid Pasha) chief of staff, György Kmety (İsmail Pasha), chief of the Anatolian Cavalry played the most important role. The English commander of the international forces gave over the fortress to the Russians on 28th November 1855, but György Kmety, together with other officers, were able to sneak out of the fortress before this happened, and broke through the Russian lines in order to join the Ottoman Turkish main forces in Erzurum. He had an important impact in solving the Lebanon crisis in 1860-61 as a Turkish general. Kmety died in London in 1865, his grave is in the Kensal Green cemetery. His statues stand in the Military Museum of Istanbul and in Csorna, where he won a significant battle in the summer of 1849. Commemorating the Hungarian heroes in Kars, a permanent exhibition (actually the 5th Hungarian permanent exhibition in Turkey) was opened in 27 May 2021 at the Caucasus Fronts War Museum, Kars that was prepared by the Gül Baba Heritage Foundation and the Hungarian National Museum.