Every year on May 19, Türkiye celebrates the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth, and Sports Day (Atatürk’ü Anma, Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı), which marks Mustafa Kemal’s landing at Samsun on May 19, 1919, which is regarded as the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence and the emergence of modern Türkiye.
Mustafa Kemal is now more commonly known as Atatürk. His precise birthday isn’t known, but in speeches he referred to May 19th as his birthday, most likely he was referring to the acts of independence, but this means the day is also a time to remember his contributions to modern Türkiye.
Following the war of independence, May 19th wasn’t celebrated as an event until 1936, when Atatürk himself suggested that May 19th should be remembered with a holiday focusing on the youth and therefore it became a holiday in 1938 when the ‘Festival of Youth and Sports’ was passed into law. In 1981, to mark the centenary of Ataturk’s birth, the holiday was renamed as ‘Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day’.
The Commemoration features state ceremonies and a variety of events throughout the country, with young people reciting poems and singing the national anthem, there are parades and cultural events with dancing and plays.
Young Turkish athletes carry the Turkish flag from a Black Sea port to the country’s capital to commemorate Türkiye’s War of Independence (1919–1923)
Because it’s a public holiday, schools and government buildings are closed for the day, as are many businesses and banks.
Atatürk’ü Anma, Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı Kutlu Olsun
Sources: Wikipedia/Time and Date