The people of Turkey are no strangers to a national holiday and proud display of the Turkish flag (Türk Bayrağı) and today is no different. Today is Commemoration of Atatürk and National Youth & Sport Day or Atatürk'ü Anma ve Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı.
A paramotor has been gliding around Fethiye to celebrate Commemoration of Atatürk and Youth and Sport DayThis Turkish national holiday commemorates the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk arrived in Samsun on May 19th, 1919 to rally his troops against the plans of the Allies to carve up the remains of the Ottoman Empire between themselves. The Allies obviously hadn't banked on the will and determination of Atatürk's troops...and the rest is history, as they say. That day means we are now sitting in our house in 2011 in the Republic of Turkey.
May 19th is also accepted as Atatürk's birthday. His exact birth date isn't known but he said that he felt May 19th to be his birthday. His year of birth was 1881 and so today, Turks all over the world are celebrating his 130th birthday. Today is also dedicated to the youth and sports at the wish of Atatürk.
On Children's Day, I said that Turkish flags are always a give away that it's a national holiday. We woke up this morning to see our neighbours displaying their Turkish flag, adorned with a picture of Atatürk, from their window. We knew May 19th was Commemoration of Atatürk and National Youth & Sport Day - we just hadn't realised that today was May 19th until we saw the flag.
You might recognise the photo above from a selection of the photos I posted from the Ölü Deniz Acroludeniz Paragliding Championships a few days ago. He was trailing a Turkish flag and image of Atatürk as he flew up and down Belcekiz Beach. Today, I don't know if it was the same person, but we have had the same paramotor flying between Fethiye and Çalış Beach as part of the commemorations.
19 Mayis Atatürk'ü Anma ve Gençlik Spor Bayramı Kutlu Olsun