Best Guide To Commemoration Of Atatürk On May 19th

Commemoration Of Atatürk-Ling

If you’re visiting Turkey on May 19th, you will see Turkish flags everywhere: on the streets, on balconies of apartments, and even on people’s outfits. But why? It is because of a national holiday named “Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day.”

Don’t worry if this is the first time you hear about this day. You will learn everything you need to know in this guide written by a local—I mean me! So, let’s get started!

What Is Commemoration Of Atatürk, Youth And Sports Day?

Every year, young Turkish people celebrate “The Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day,” which was bestowed upon the Turkish youth by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with great excitement. The foundations of the Turkish Republic were built on May 19th, 1919, and are regarded as one of the most significant turning points in the Turkish Independence War. That’s why we honor, thank, and show mercy to Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and our national heroes.

A statue of Atatürk on the horse-Commemoration of Atatürk-Ling

Brief History Behind This Special Day

On May 19th, 1919, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, arrived in Samsun to incite a popular rebellion against the decision made by the allies of World War I to divide several of the defeated Ottoman Empire’s territory. His landing in Samsun is recognized as the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence.

When Is Commemoration Of Atatürk, Youth, And Sports Day?

Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day takes place on May 19th. In 2024, it falls on a Sunday, and some businesses may choose to follow Sunday opening hours. Usually, it is a public holiday and a day off for the general population. For example, schools and most businesses are closed.

In 1938, the Turkish government officially recognized May 19th as “Youth and Sports Day,” honoring Atatürk’s request. The day got its present name, the “Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day,” in 1981, the 100th anniversary of Atatürk’s birth.

a girl flying Turkish flag-Commemoration of Atatürk-Ling

How Is It Celebrated?

For the May 19th celebrations, the Turkish youth carry the national flag from Samsun, a Black Sea town from which Atatürk started Turkey’s War of Independence (Kurtuluş Savaşı) in 1919, to Ankara, Turkey’s capital city. The marathon normally takes about ten days. At the end of the marathon, the Turkish president accepts the carried Turkish flag with a ceremony on May 19th.

Additionally, a variety of sporting events take place around Turkey to celebrate May 19th. Many people commemorate this day by attending public sporting activities, such as half-marathons, or by seeing athletes compete at their local stadium. On this day, university students typically plan special events for their lecturers and parents.

Many Turks also celebrate May 19th as Atatürk’s birthday, as he claimed to be born on May 19th (relating to the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence), even though his true birthday is unknown. Many people hang Turkish flags outside their windows and place wreaths at the monuments dedicated to Atatürk.

The following Turkish words, with their English translations, can help you better understand and discuss the significance of this important day in Turkish culture.

Commemoration of AtatürkAtatürk’ü Anma
Turkish FlagTürk Bayrağı
Full name of AtatürkMustafa Kemal Atatürk
Atatürk’s Principles and ReformsAtatürk İlke ve İnkılapları
Victory MonumentZafer Anıtı
Commemoration CeremonyAnma Töreni
As Atatürk SaidAtatürk’ün Söylediği Gibi
National StruggleMilli Mücadele
Atatürk’s Principles and ReformsAtatürk’ün Doğum Günü
Victory MarchZafer Yürüyüşü
Spirit of VictoryZafer Ruhu

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How Do You Say “Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth, And Sports Day” In Turkish?

In Turkish, “Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day” is said as Atatürk’ü Anma, Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı.

Frequently Asked Questions About Commemoration Of Atatürk

Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about this day:

1. Why Is May 19th Special In Turkey?

May 19th holds significant importance in Turkey as it marks the commemoration of Atatürk Youth and Sports Day (Atatürk’ü Anma, Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı). This day celebrates the anniversary of the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence on May 19th, 1919, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey.

2. Why Is Atatürk Celebrated?

Atatürk is celebrated for leading Turkey’s independence movement, establishing the Turkish Republic, and modernizing the nation through reforms, including secularization and education initiatives. His legacy, encapsulated in Atatürkism, continues to shape Turkey’s secular, nationalist identity.

3. Is May 19th A National Holiday In Turkey?

Yes, May 19th is celebrated as a national holiday in Turkey. It’s officially known as Atatürk’ü Anma, Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı (Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day). The day commemorates the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence on May 19th, 1919, and honors Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, as well as the youth of Turkey.

Final Words

In conclusion, the “Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day” holds a special place in Turkey’s heart, marking the crucial start of the journey towards independence on May 19th, 1919, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It’s a day filled with pride, honoring Atatürk’s forward-thinking ideals and the role of young people in shaping Turkey’s destiny. As Turks come together to celebrate, it’s a reminder of the strength found in unity and the enduring legacy of Atatürk’s vision for a modern, secular Turkey.

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