Turkey, on May 19, celebrated the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, a milestone day for the beginning of the country’s War of Independence, with various activities conducted in all 81 provinces.
May 19, 1919, was the day when modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk arrived in the Black Sea province of Samsun from Istanbul with the vessel named “Bandırma” to launch a war.
After a two-year halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, the occasion was celebrated with people hanging Turkish flags from their houses, flocking to agoras of the provinces, attending concerts and marching to mark the day.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a message congratulating the youth on the day.
“May 19 was the date when our nation’s love for resolution and independence was proclaimed to the world and when the spirit of resistance inside ourselves was revived,” the president said.
“The Turkish nation stood up to the imperialist occupying forces with the spirit of unity and solidarity on May 19, 1919, displayed legendary gallantry by putting up an all-out struggle for the establishment of the Republic of Türkiye, and achieved a blessed victory in the end,” he noted.
“And today we walk to the future with the strength and spirit of the independence we have drawn from our history and put up a fierce fight against those seeking to prevent Turkey’s development and growth,” he added.
“We work with all our strength for our youth who have national consciousness and character, and trust in the Turkish youth’s potential,” the president said.
“We are proud to see our youth at the foremost of every area, from education to sports, security to politics, and trade to the arts. We will continue to march with our youth in order to achieve our country’s goals for 2023 and vision for 2053,” he added.
The center of the May 19 events was Atatürk’s mausoleum, Anıtkabir, as usual, where thousands thronged.
Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu visited Anıtkabir with young people from all 81 provinces and Turkish Cyprus and laid a wreath, observed a moment of silence and sang the national anthem.
In a memorial message, Kasapoğlu wrote: “We celebrate May 19 with joy and excitement. We are building the future of our youth of Turkey with the youth themselves.”
Hurriyet Daily News