Turkey celebrates Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
May 19 Youth and Sports Day, a national holiday, marks the beginning of Turkey's War of Independence and the emergence of modern Turkey, which is celebrated through official ceremonies across the nation.
"I respectfully recall our martyrs, our veterans, and all our heroes with mercy, and gratitude, who struggled to save our homeland from the invasion of the enemy and ensured the independence of our community and state," Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ tweeted.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu also issued a statement to mark the day. "Our struggle is for the future of our generation and our country," the statement said.
Attending a ceremony in the Turkish capital Ankara, Youth and Sports Minister Osman Aşkın Bak wrote a note and put his signature on the memorial notebook at Anıtkabir, Atatürk's mausoleum.
“In order to further develop Turkey, we continue to make efforts with our young people,” the note read.
Representatives from all 81 Turkish provinces as well as from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus participated in the program.
In Istanbul, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall hosted the commemoration with the attendance of Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin, Mayor Mevlüt Uysal and first army commander General Musa Avsever.
During the commemoration, high school students performed on solidarity songs and sang the national anthem.
May 19, 1919, was the day when Mustafa Kemal, later to become Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, arrived in the Black Sea city of Samsun from Istanbul to organize the war that saw the remnants of the Ottoman Empire transformed into modern Turkey four years later.
In Samsun, May 19 was celebrated in a museum called Bandırma Ship.