MATA would like to celebrate May 19th with the Turkish American Community today.
In Türkiye, it is known as Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı (Youth and Sports Day).
The significance of May 19th is that Mustafa Kemal fled Istanbul on May 19, 1919 and landed at Samsun to begin what eventually was known as the Turkish War of Independence. The end of WWI and the Treaty of Sevres demanded the dissolution of the Ottoman Army, and most likely the Turkish people. Mustafa Kemal defied this order, and by his actions began the struggle that eventually culminated in the Republic of Türkiye in 1923.
In his later years, Mustafa Kemal, then known as Atatürk, the Father of Turks, declared in 1936 that the following year, May 19th, 1937, should be celebrated as a national holiday in honor of the Youth and Sports.
We ask that each of you privately think and appreciate what this single individual did in establishing the modern day Republic of Türkiye and wish you a Happy Bayram!