May 19, 1919 is the day Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, then Mustafa Kemal, who would become independent Turkey's first president, landed at Samsun on the Black Sea coast of Turkey to begin leadership of the liberation effort. This date is recognised as being the start of the Turkish War of Independence.
In early 1920, Kemal convened the first Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara, and by 1922 all of Anatolia was freed from foreign rule. The independent Republic of Turkey was declared a year later. During the course of his term as president, Ataturk himself proclaimed May 19 as "Youth and Sports Day."
The aim of the holiday is to create a self-confident and productive youth movement that protects national values and democracy.
The day also honours the founder of Turkey.
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