Turkey celebrates May 19 Commemoration of Ataturk
Turkey on May 19 marks the 102nd anniversary of Independence Day, which marks the beginning of Turkey's War of Independence and the emergence of modern Turkey, in a series of events and celebrations across the country.
May 19 is a milestone in Turkish history as it is the day when 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.
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 with official ceremonies across the nation.
Atatürk died at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, on 10 November 1938. Atatürk's funeral called forth both sorrow and pride in Turkey, and seventeen countries sent special representatives, while nine contributed with armed detachments to the cortège.
In November 1953, Atatürk's remains were taken from the Ethnography Museum of Ankara by 138 young reserve officers in a procession that stretched for 3 km including the president, the premier, every cabinet minister, every parliamentary deputy, every provincial governor and every foreign diplomat. The Father of the Turks came to rest at his mausoleum, the Anıtkabir.