Mustafa Kemal Atatürk arrived in Samsun on May 19, 1919 to start a popular revolt against the decision about dividing territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire. which is regarded as the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence. Moreover, May 19 was officialized by the Turkish government as Youth and Sports Day following Ataturk’s wish. On the 100th anniversary of Ataturk’s birth, the day received its present name: The “Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day” in 1981.
It is a national holiday in Turkey and there are state ceremonies, parades, sports and cultural activities throughout the country each year on this day. Turkish flag is carried by young Turkish athletes from a Black Sea port to the country’s capital, Ankara, to commemorate Atatürk and his companions’ beginning of the national struggle in 1919 that would lead to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, in 1923.