May 19 The Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day

Celebrated every year in our country and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, May 19 The Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day is one of the most important milestones in our recent history. Being the date when the Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk set foot in Samsun, May 19 is also one of the most special days for Turkish nation. Attaching great importance to the ideas and energy of youth, Ataturk has always believed in the power of being innovative and always looking forward, and also dedicated this day to the youth. The meaning and importance of May 19 is crucial. Here are the main points of this glorious story….

Even though Turkish nation was exhausted and helpless at the end of the First World War, they marched to "Independence" under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. His journey, which started in Istanbul on May 16-19, 1919, was a beginning that marked the history books. Samsun was an important destination with strategic importance for the occupation forces. On March 9, 1919, a troop landed in Samsun. Ataturk, who wanted to start the defiance and fight by going to Anatolia, set out to Samsun with his team consisting of 18 people by the ferry named "Bandirma" with the support of Sultan Vahdettin. It was Friday. The picture in Samsun was bleak. There were lots of British invaders and Pontus supporters. The people were helpless, desperate and exhausted. Ataturk had sleepless nights thinking deeply.

But, his ambitious, determined, forward-looking, self-sacrificing personality and strategic intelligence helped to overcome all obstacles and the independence history was made.

After the coup in 1980, the name of the Youth and Sports Day has been changed and celebrated as May 19 The Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day since May 19, 1981.

As it can be seen, the importance of May 19, 1919 involves a sacred fight. May 19, 1919 is also the day when the foundations of a new state were laid in Anatolia and the history of the Republic began. The Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day is celebrated every year on May 19. May 19, the day when the War of Independence against occupation of Allies started, was engraved in the memory of our nation will as a special day that deserves to be celebrated with the greatest enthusiasm.

When was May 19 declared? May 19 was officially recognized as "Youth and Sports Day" on June 20, 1938. In 1981, May 19 was named as Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Holiday in accordance with the law numbered 2429.

May 19 is celebrated every year with a great enthusiasm in our country.  

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  • Gladys G. Gonzalez
  • 18-05-2020

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