The Turkish president released a message on Thursday to mark May 19 Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day.
“We give great importance to our young people, whom we see as the guarantors of our future, to understand the May 19 spirit, to absorb it and to protect it,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a statement.
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.
“We have been working hard for the last 14 years to train young generations with high self-confidence, national consciousness, character-wise,” Erdoğan added.
May 19, 1919, was the day 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.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister Akif Cagatay Kilic also issued a message to mark May 19.
“It has been 98 years since the veteran Mustafa Kemal Atatürk burned the independence torch with his fellow fighters and war of independence heroes,” Kilic said.