Turkey today will celebrate the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, which marks beginning of the country’s War of Independence and the emergence of modern Turkey.
May 19 is a milestone in Turkish history as it is the day when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk arrived in the Black Sea province of Samsun from Istanbul to organize the war that saw the remnants of the Ottoman Empire transformed into modern Turkey four years later.
Atatürk dedicated May 19 to the youth of the Turkish nation as Youth and Sports Day, a national holiday that sees young people stage sporting and cultural activities and official ceremonies organized across the nation.
However, traditional celebrations will this year be replaced with those conducted from home under a four-day curfew in some cities due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Youth and Sports Ministry plans to bring the joy and celebrations to houses with live television broadcasts this year.
National athletes gathering in the facilities of the ministry all over the country will sing the Turkish National Anthem at 19:19 on the 101st anniversary of May 19.
Turkey’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines will make a historical flight from Istanbul to Samsun, where the National Struggle began.
Turkish Airlines has created commemorative tickets for those wanting to board the “TK1919,” in reference to the beginning of the national struggle, with people signing up for the event exceeding 2.5 million so far.
Air Sports Federation of Turkey will organize demonstrations within the scope of air sports celebrations.
More than 500 athletes in gyrocopter, model aircraft, paramotor, paragliding and sailing wing branches will participate in the events to be held in many cities.
Meanwhile, two athletes in the Black Sea province of Artvin, one skydiver and the other a paragliding pilot, celebrated May 19 with a special show in the air.
Athletes Cengiz Koçak and Ferdi Toy planned a flight between the biggest Atatürk statue in the country in Atatepe and the Turkish flag next to it.
The athletes, who climbed Genya Mountain at an altitude of 2,000 meters, jumped from there with the parachute used by Ferdi Toy.
At one point, Koçak left the parachute and began to fly with a wingsuit between the Atatürk statue and the Turkish flag, completing his flight of about 1 kilometer by landing on the edge of the Çoruh River.
Similarly, in the Mediterranean province of Burdur, paragliders celebrated the national day by flying with a Turkish flag over Lake Salda, which has been reputed as “Turkey’s Maldives.”
In Ankara, Turkey’s Ice Skating Federation staff drew a map of the country with ice skates to mark the national day.
The video of it was shared on the federation’s social media account.
“The sun, born 101 years ago, still warms us. My enthusiasm is as big as my feast. Happy May 19 Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day,” it said in the post.