Youth take symbolic voyage to Samsun
A total of 182 students from Turkey and other countries have embarked on a three-day sea journey from Istanbul to the province of Samsun on the Black Sea coast ahead of the May 19 Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day celebrations.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence after Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, traveled from allied-occupied Istanbul to Samsun on May 19, 1919.
In a symbolic voyage, students aboard the Piri Reis University Training Ship are retracing Atatürk’s route from that historic day.
Some of the students came all the way from the Turkish Cyprus, Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Kirgizstan and Ozbekistan.
“Our youth’s excitement and enthusiasm offer a great hope for our tomorrows, for 2023 and 2071 Turkey visions. We will meet with our youth on Sunday, May 19 Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, with the participation of our honored president in Samsun,” Kasapoğlu told reporters on May 17, while seeing the students off.
“A century later, at the same spot [where Atatürk left Istanbul for Samsun], we are together with our youth, who are the hope of our tomorrows…During this voyage, your youth will both learn about their past and also socialize. Our youth from our 81 provinces and various countries in the world are here,” said Kasapoğlu.
The send-off ceremony was held at Istanbul’s Sarayburnu pier. Kasapoğlu waved at the students as their ship floated away from the pier. Fireworks accompanied the ceremony. Also, a marching band from Piri Reis University performed music during the ceremony.
The names of companies that have been selected, jointly by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), will be announced at 11 a.m.
“Due to the 100th anniversary of our national struggle, we wanted to hold this organization in Samsun, where Atatürk initiated the first fire [for the Turkish War of Independence]. With that struggle, our country won its independence. And what will crown this success is our economic successes, that we find work for our citizens, that we increase our investments, that we follow the technology at its highest level and even become a pioneer in this area,” said TOBB head Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu.
In Ankara, thousands of visitors flock to Anıtkabir every year on May 19, with many waving Turkish flags and holding pictures of the country’s founding father.
Atatürk landed in Samsun at the start of a political and military resistance by Turkish people against the allied partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after its defeat in World War I. The war ended on Oct. 29, 1923 and Atatürk dedicated May 19 to the country’s youth.