Today Turkey marked the beginning of the independence when modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk landed in the northern province of Samsun on May 19, 1919.
An official ceremony was held in Anitkabir, Ataturk’s mausoleum, in the capital Ankara with the attendance of senior officials.
On May 19, 1919, Mustafa Kemal arrived in Samsun to organise a resistance force to confront the occupying countries, which resulted in the establishment of modern Turkey from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire.
Countrywide celebrations take place every year to commemorate this symbolic journey under the name of the “Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day.”
During the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested to Turkish youth representatives that the age of parliamentary candidacy should be lowered to 18 and the parliamentary terms of young deputies should be taken into account for mandatory military service.
In a statement released on Monday evening, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the holiday was ‘’an indication of our trust in them [the youth] and of a great responsibility that they shoulder.”
Celebrated as “Ataturk Day” in the early years of republic, May 19 was also recognised as “Youth and Sports Day” by the Turkish parliament upon the suggestion of Turkish sports clubs in 1938.
Addressing Turkey’s youth, Erdogan said, “You should work more to preserve the republic, to further glorify it and to carry it to the highest level of modern civilisation.’’
Meanwhile, Syrian youngsters also held a programme today in the southern Turkish city of Osmaniye.
During the World War I, the “Allied Powers” occupied many provinces inside the borders of Ottoman Empire and a group of Ottoman soldiers led by Ataturk launched an independence war which was started from Samsun.